Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What's Next for Hep C Drug Stocks Following Gilead's $11B Pharmasset Buy?

By Adam Feuerstein 11/21/11 - 11:40 AM EST (

BOSTON (TheStreet) -- Semi-random thoughts and questions about hepatitis C drug stocks in the wake of Gilead Sciences(GILD_) buying Pharmasset(VRUS_) for $11 billion:

Wow, $11 billion is a lot of money, but that's what happens when you dangle a great hepatitis C drug (Pharmasset's PSI-7977) in front of a desperate buyer (Gilead.)

One of the best bio-pharma acquisitions measured by return on investment (ROI) was Gilead's $464 million purchase of Triangle Pharmaceuticals in 2003. The Triangle deal gave Gilead the HIV drug Emtriva, which when combined with Gilead's HIV drug Viread into a single pill, created Truvada. In turn, Gilead has generated tens of billions of dollars in sales from Truvada and various HIV regimens that incorporate Truvada as a backbone.

Gilead's challenge will be to convince investors that it can deliver a decent ROI with Pharmasset by spending $11 billion to acquire the asset.

One hedge fund shareholder isn't buying it. "They're dead to me," he said, in a phone call, spitting mad. With Gilead shares down 11% to $35.23, this hedge funder doesn’t appear to be a lone voice of dissent.

Inhibitex(INHX_) is up Monday. Achillion Pharmaceuticals(ACHN_) shares are higher too, although less so. Both companies are developing their own hepatitis C drugs and neither company has a partner yet, so no surprise that already-present speculation about M&A activity involving these two stocks is ramping even higher.

The Inhibitex buzz makes some sense because its drug belongs to the same class of nucleotide polymerase inhibitors -- "nucs" for short -- that Pharmasset is developing.

Meantime, Achillion's CEO can't seem to pass a reporter's microphone without reminding everyone that he's in "advanced talks" with potential partners or aquirers. Smart, effective bio-pharma CEOs get deals done, they don't talk about them incessantly.

Idenix Pharmaceuticals(IDIX_) shares are also up Monday on the same M&A speculation, although the stock should probably be selling off. A large part of the bull thesis on Idenix has been based on speculation that the company's intellectual property (IP) portfolio around Hep C "nucs" would allow it to demand and receive royalty payments from other companies developing similar drugs, most notably Pharmasset.
By spending $11 billion to acquire Pharmasset, however, Gilead doesn't appear to be worried at all about Pharmasset's patent position. On its conference call this morning, Gilead said it had conducted a lot of due diligence into Pharmasset's patents prior to buying the company.

Idenix is developing its own Hep C nuc, with important safety data expected early next year.

Should Gilead have bought Vertex Pharmaceuticals(VRTX_) instead of Pharmasset? With Vertex, Gilead would acquiring a wildly successful Hep C drug (Incivek) already on the market and more quickly accretive to its bottom line. Vertex has a pipeline of experimental Hep C drugs, which while not as advanced as Pharmasset's, still could deliver the much-coveted all-oral regimen companies crave.

Vertex is emerging as a pioneer in cystic fibrosis drug development, a treatment market in which Gilead already has a presence with the antibiotic Cayston.

Gilead could have probably acquired Vertex for less money than Pharmasset, on top of wringing out substantial cost savings.

For the full report, click here.

Lazy Portfolio YTD (2011)

The World’s 500 largest asset managers - Year end 2010


The P&I/Towers Watson global 500 ranking is prepared using joint research by Pensions & Investments and Towers Watson.

Highlights from this year’s report include:

Total assets of the world’s largest 300 pension funds grew by over 11% in 2010 (8% in 2009) to a record high of US$12.5 trillion and up by around US$1.2 trillion from last year’s figure.

Despite last year’s growth in total assets, annualised growth of all funds during the past five years has fallen to just over 6%.

By individual region, Europe has the highest five-year growth rate of 11% compared to Asia (9%) and North America (1%); while the Latin American and African regions combined have a growth rate for the same period of 15%, albeit from a low base.

The world’s top 300 pension funds now represent over 47% of global pension funds assets.
For details, follow the link below:
The World’s 500 largest asset managers - Year end 2010

The World’s 500 Largest Asset Managers – Year End 2009


The P&I/Towers Watson global 500 ranking is prepared using joint research by Pensions & Investments and Towers Watson.

Highlights from this year’s report include:

Assets managed by the world’s largest 500 fund managers rose by 16% in 2009 to US$62 trillion at the end of the year. This is in contrast to a 23% loss the year before.

Although the percentage rise in total assets in 2009 is the second largest since the research began in 1996, asset levels are still below 2006 levels.

During the past five years only half of the fastest growing firms have done so in a primarily organic way, with the other half doing so by merger or acquisition.

By number, bank-owned asset managers continue to dominate the top 20, although the number of independent managers in the group grew.
For details, click the link below:
The World’s 500 Largest Asset Managers – Year End 2009

The World’s 500 largest asset managers - Year end 2008

from (

The P&I/Towers Watson global 500 ranking is prepared using joint research by Pensions & Investments and Towers Watson.
Highlights from this year’s report include:

Total assets under management of the 500 managers included in the ranking totalled US $53.4 trillion at the end of 2008, down 23.1% from the end of 2007. This is the first yearly decrease since 2002.

Barclays Global Investors stays at the top of the ranking, followed by Allianz and State Street Global.

Assets under management of North American managers were US$ 23.9 trillion at 2008 year end, a decrease of 24.3% from the previous year. European managers experienced a similar decline, ending on US $22.7 trillion for the year.

The Top 20 managers' share of the total assets increased from 37.5% to 38.5%. Yet their assests were down by 21.4% in the same period.

US managers in the Top 20 manage 50.8% of the total AuM for that group, while the remaining 49.2% is controlled by European managers.

For details, click the link below:

The World’s 500 largest asset managers - Year end 2008

The world’s 300 largest pension funds – year end 2010


The 2010 P&I/Towers Watson global 300 pension funds ranking is prepared using joint research by Pensions & Investments and Towers Watson and includes a ranking of sovereign funds.

The US and UK account for almost half of the funds in the ranking. However, a total of 45 US/UK funds have dropped out of the top 300 ranking since 2005, while only 8 new funds joined.
Sovereign and public sector pension funds account for more than 68% of the total assets, and 138 funds in the top 300.
Defined Benefit funds account for 70% of the total assets, down from 71% in 2009. DB fund asset values grew by 7.6% in 2010, compared to 12.9% asset value growth of DC funds, reserve funds and hybrid funds combined.
On an arithmetric average basis, the top 20 funds invested approximately 40% of their assets in fixed income instruments and the same in equities.
For details, click the link below:
The world’s 300 largest pension funds – year end 2010



证券时报记者 郑晓波



2010 排名 基金公司 2010年资产 (百万美元)

196   华夏     43,820
220   嘉实     37,060
249  易方达 29,856
254  博时      28,528
319  南方     17,899
336  广发     15,647
345  大成     15,014
364  银华     12,917
372  华安     12,467
417  富国       9,388
426  上投摩根 8,934
429  工银瑞信 8,738
432  汇添富 8,597
434  鹏华 8,520
441  交银施罗德 8,000
443  融通 7,960
450 华宝兴业 7,452
453 建信 7,333
459 国泰 7,146
463 诺安 7,090
467 景顺长城 7,013
478 兴业全球 6,659
487 海富通 6,352
490 长盛 6,225
493 招商 6,136
496 国投瑞银 6,082
499 中银 5,908
总计 $346,741

(注:新浪财经配表 来源:Pensions & Investments/韬睿惠悦全球500大基金公司调研)

资产管理规模排名全球前20位的基金公司 (2010年12月31日)

排名 基金公司 市场 资产管理规模(百万美元)

1 BlackRock 美国 3,560,968
2 State Street Global 美国 2,010,447
3 Allianz Group 德国 2,009,949
4 Fidelity Investments 美国 1,811,901
5 Vanguard Group 美国 1,764,960
6 Deutsche Bank 德国 1,562,352
7 AXA Group 法国 1,462,966
8 BNP Paribas 法国 1,313,882
9 J.P. Morgan Chase 美国 1,303,372
10 Capital Group 美国 1,223,412
11 Bank of New York Mellon 美国 1,172,314
12 UBS 瑞士 933,209
13 HSBC Holdings 英国 925,000
14 Amundi Asset Mgmt. 法国 915,016
15 Goldman Sachs Group 美国 840,000
16 Prudential Financial 美国 784,046
17 Natixis France 719,336
18 Legg Mason 美国 671,799
19 Franklin Templeton 美国 670,719
20 Nippon Life Insurance 日本 656,153

(注:新浪财经配表 来源:Pensions & Investments/韬睿惠悦全球500大基金公司调研)

排名全球前20位的基金公司的资产管理规模比较 (2009, 2010)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Life Science VC funding

MoneyTreeTM: Reaching for growth

Life Sciences Venture Capital Investing Falls 18% in Q3 2011 from Prior Quarter but Still Shows an Increase of 22% from Q3 2010, According to the MoneyTree Report (PRNewswire)

Study: Life sciences venture funding loses steam in Q3 (by Lori Valigra from Mass High Tech)

Notes from the above articles:

Venture capitalists invested $1.8 billion in 170 Life Sciences deals, reflecting a continued interest in venture investment but still the lowest number of deals since the first quarter of 2009. Investment in the Life Sciences sector increased 22% year over year. However, dollars invested and deal volume declined 18% and 21%, respectively, compared with the $2.2 billion invested in 214 deals during the previous quarter.
For all sectors, venture capitalists invested $7.0 billion in 876 deals in Q3 2011, a 31 percent increase in dollars and a 3 percent increase in deals year-over-year. Compared with the previous quarter, dollars investment fell 12%, and the number of deals declined 14%. The average deal size for all industries increased for the fourth consecutive quarter and stood at $7.9 million. The life sciences share of total venture capital declined moderately from 28% for the second quarter of 2011 to 26% for the third quarter. The sector followed a similar trend during 2010.
In Q3 2011, Biotechnology investing increased by 26 percent in dollars and dropped 14 percent in deals year over year with $1.1 billion going into 96 deals. Medical device investments increased 17 percent in dollars and declined 20 percent in deals, compared to the same quarter a year ago, as 74 deals captured $728 million in funding during the third quarter of 2011.

First-Time Financing

During the third quarter of 2011, 21 Life Sciences companies received venture capital funding for the first time, capturing $181 million. This represents a decline of 54 percent in the number of companies but a six percent increase in dollars invested, compared to the third quarter of 2010. First-time deals in the Life Sciences sector averaged $8.6 million in the second quarter of 2011, a 131 percent jump year over year and notably higher than the average first-time deal size of $7.9 million for all industries during the quarter.

Funding by Subsegment

Four of the seven Biotechnology subsegments exhibited growth in the third quarter of 2011 compared to the third quarter of 2010. The Human Biotechnology subsegment captured the largest share in the third quarter with $826 million going into 61 deals, a 36 percent increase in dollars but a 20 percent decrease in deals from Q3 of 2010. Dollars invested in the Biotech Research, Biotech Equipment, and Biosensors subsegments rose 262 percent, 27 and 5,444 percent, respectively.

Funding for two of the three Medical Device subsegments decreased in Q3 2011, compared with the same quarter of 2010 - Medical/Health Products fell 51 percent and Medical Diagnostics dropped 38 percent in dollars. However, dollars invested in the Medical Therapeutics category increased by 53 percent during the third quarter of 2011, compared to the same time a year ago. This subsegment also accounted for nearly two-thirds of the deals and more than four-fifths of the dollars during the third quarter of 2011 with $602 million going into 48 deals.

Investments by Region
The top five metropolitan regions receiving Life Sciences venture capital funding during Q3 2011 were San Francisco Bay ($625 million), Dallas ($300 million), Boston ($248 million), New York Metro ($144 million), and Twin Cities ($77 million). Investments in Biotechnology deals accounted for 58 percent of the dollars invested in the top five regions in Q3 2011.


Inhibitex Soars as Investors See Another Pharmasset in the Making (By Adam Feuerstein)

Shares of Inhibitex(INHX) more than doubled Friday morning after the company released promising new data on its hepatitis C drug candidate.
The Inhibitex drug INX-189 belongs to the same "nucleoside" class of potent oral hepatitis C drugs as Pharmasset's(VRUS_) heralded PSI-7977. The difference, of course, is that Inhibitex's market value is $300 million, or at least it was going into Friday's trading. Pharmasset's market value is close to $6 billion.
Inhibitex shares soared 133% to $9.25 in pre-market trading after the company reported a 4.25 log drop in Hep C viral load after 7 days of treatment with a 200 mg dose of INX-189 in treatment-naive patients. No serious adverse events were reported.  (Read the complete report here).
Vertex (VRTX) awards $1.5M to help Hepatitis C patients (by James M. Connolly)

Vertex said in a press release that nearly 4 million people in the U.S. have chronic hepatitis C and that an estimated 75 percent of them are unaware of their infection.

Multiple Sclerosis (Biogen-Idec)

Biogen-Idec's BG-12 Shines At the Top of the Charts in the Treatment of Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (From

BG-12 Beats Teva's Copaxone in Biogen-Idec's CONFIRM Trial

The top-line results of DEFINE trial were replicated in the second pivotal Phase III trial CONFIRM, which significantly reduced annualized relapse rate (ARR) by 44 percent for BID (p< 0.0001) and by 51 percent for TID (p< 0.0001) versus placebo at two years.

It is believed that BG-12 has dual anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects via the Nrf2 pathway.

The results from the CONFIRM study showed that BG-12 beats Teva's Copaxone, which reduced the ARR by only 29 percent (p< 0.02) compared with placebo at two years.

With two robust and positive pivotal clinical trials that exposed BG-12 to over 2,600 patients, the drug is well positioned as a top MS therapy of choice and a formidable competitor to Gilenya from Novartis, which gained FDA approval in September 2010.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pancreatic Cancer

According to American Cancer Society, more than 44,000 new cases of pancreatic cancer will be giagnosed in the U.S. and over 37,000 deaths are expected in 2011.

Approved Drugs:

Single agent:
Gemzar [gemcitabine] : Eli Lilly (LLY), single agent, approved  in1997 for locally advanced or metastatic panreatic exocrine cancer. Median OS: 5.7 months, one-year probability of survival rate: 18%.

Combination agents:
Gemzar [gemcitabine] plus Tarceva [erlotinib] from Roche/Astellas Parma, the only successful combination approved by the FDA in 2005. Median OS: 6.4 months, one-year survival rate: 23%.

From: 13 Drug Companies Trying to Beat the Odds in Pancreatic Cancer

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Life Sciences: The Rodney Dangerfield of Venture Capital

Life Sciences: The Rodney Dangerfield of Venture Capital July 11, 2011

Note to Readers: This blog post was co-written by Bruce Booth and Bijan Salehizadeh, who co-authored an article in the July 2011 issue of Nature Biotechnology, detailing the differences in returns between Life Sciences and Tech investing.

Most venture capitalists think that Tech investing has been what makes the best returns – which is why they’re pouring money into Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and the like. They may be right now and in the future, but at least over the past decade, they’ve been wrong: in the 2000′s, venture investing in the Life Sciences has outperformed venture investing in Tech.  Continue

Monday, May 30, 2011

Health ETF

Good Health ETFs: