To Rajiv Kaul, who manages the biggest U.S. biotechnology fund, a correction is just a discount on his favorite stocks. Kaul, who runs the $13.4 billion Fidelity Select Biotechnology Portfolio, said many drug companies’ research pipelines are still primed to pay off, and dealmaking isn’t going away. He expects the industry to bounce back over the next few years as new antibiotics, gene therapies and drugs for cancer and Alzheimer’s disease begin to reach the market. Kaul also manages the $3.3 billion Fidelity Advisor Biotechnology Fund.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. shares dropped after U.S. prosecutors issued subpoenas seeking information on drug-pricing decisions, signaling fresh scrutiny just as beleaguered biotechnology investors saw signs that the cost debate may fade away. The drugmaker recently received a subpoena from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts and another from the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office seeking information on its patient assistance programs, drug distribution and pricing decisions, Laval, Quebec-based Valeant said in a statement on Wednesday night. Valeant shares fell 4.7 percent to $168.87 at the New York close.
Novavax Inc. was Tuesday’s worst performer on the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index as data from a mid-stage trial on the company’s respiratory vaccine failed to impress investors.
The Moscow Seed Fund and the RVC Biofund, an investment arm of RVC, Russia’s fund of funds for innovation, have anted up $180,000 in Central Factory of Prepared Solutions (CFPS), a Russian company, the RVC website announced. CFPS is Russia’s pioneering company to set up innovation production of ready-to-use microbiological nutrient solutions for medical diagnostics and research labs, which is said to meet international standards and is expected to help supplant imports from the Russian market. The CFPS solutions are used in identifying a disease, monitoring production space cleanliness at pharmaceutical and cosmetic factories, etc.
A rally in pharmaceutical stocks has made top managers at four biotechnology companies some of the highest-paid executives in the U.S. Hans Bishop, chief executive officer of Juno Therapeutics Inc., a Seattle-based developer of cancer therapies, was awarded salary, options and restricted shares in 2014 that were valued at $88.2 million as of year end, making him the 11th highest-paid executive in the U.S., according to the Bloomberg Pay Index, a daily ranking of the 100 top-paid executives. The awards were worth $7.3 million before the company’s initial public offering in December.
Celgene Corp. Chief Executive Officer Robert J. Hugin said his partnerships with companies in the early stages of drug development are bearing fruit, yielding more than half of eight new compounds the company aims to put into human testing over the next 18 months.
Biotech ETFs have recently shown vulnerability. For example, the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) , the largest biotech ETF by assets, fell nearly 4% last week on its way to shedding nearly $200 million in assets and there is talk that IBB is forming a bearish head and shoulders chart pattern. [How to Deal With Biotech ETF Trouble]
BIO Investor Forum to be held October 20-21 in San Francisco, California The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) has opened registration for the 14th Annual BIO Investor Forum, the international biotech investor conference focused on investment strategies for early stage and established private companies as well as emerging public companies. The event will take place October 20-21, 2015, at the Parc 55 Hotel in San Francisco.