BioDimSum III: Keep on Rockin’ in the Gummune

Bursting Out: Special Summer Reading Edition

By DrKSSMDPhD, July 28, 2015

[Ed. Note: Dr. KSS writes about medicine and biotech stocks for the Irregulars. He has agreed to our trading restrictions, and his words and opinions are his own. You can see his Stock Gumshoe page, with all of his past articles, here. Enjoy!]

Welcome all! We’ll forego the food and beverages this time as many of you are on vacation already. I’ve got a wheelbarrow load of things to present here: interviews, company updates, field updates, a few new long ideas, plus a prime short candidate….some scandal and some comic relief. I’ve bundled all of that up into one very long column, our most massive one to date, so you can read it on the jet taking you to where you’re going or by the pool once you get there. Presenting…..BDS III. Here’s hoping you enjoy reading as much as I did whipping up this pastiche for you.

Sonata for Two Fiddles and a Violin

We remain committed longs in Trevena ($TRVN), a microcap Pennsylvanian start-up that was originally featured in a Gumshoe Biotech column on 19 December 2014.

Trevena was co-founded by Ph.D. biochemists in the laboratory of Robert J. Lefkowitz, MD, a professor of cardiology and biochemistry at Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, who won the 2012 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. For decades, Lefkowitz has published high-profile basic science studies of G-protein-coupled receptors. Your body has perhaps 800 types of G-protein-coupled receptors and while they all have functions, the function for at least half of those, as well as what naturally binds to and stimulates them, remains unknown. G-protein-coupled receptors, however, are among the most vital, the most immensely important in the body. If you take a beta-blocker such as metoprolol for high blood pressure or because you’ve had a prior heart attack, that drug binds to the beta-1 G-protein-coupled cardiac receptor, blockade of which has several actions, including cardiac slowing and thus a fall in blood pressure. Subtypes of beta receptors include the beta-2’s in the lungs, stimulation of which causes relaxation of pulmonary smooth muscle and bronchodilatation. Most beta-blocker drugs are designed to have specificity such that they do not act at pulmonary beta-receptors and and so do not cause bronchoconstriction.

Lefkowitz (left) receiving Nobel Prize from Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden. 10 December 2012

Among the most startling and vital concepts to emerge in recent years ...

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