The 12 Biotechs of Christmas: Six

By DrKSSMDPhD, December 20, 2016

[Ed. Note: Dr. KSS writes about medicine and biotech stocks for the Irregulars. He has agreed to our trading restrictions, chooses his own topics, and his words and opinions are his own. All of his past articles and most recent comments are on his Stock Gumshoe page.]

Let’s turn our attention today, in a mild respite mode, to a company we’ve mentioned before but never covered. It’s a member of the Manhattan biotech scene, and I admit that’s an establishment of which I have sometimes been mildly upbraiding. Manhattan, of course, is a wonderful place, teeming, thrumming, exuding energy and perfection. Manhattan is a place of such excellence that manifest excellence is needed to survive. The merest meal at a Manhattan restaurant generally startles me: some touch, some ingredient, some gustatory way of reaching out of the Proscenium arch to¬†grab you and ping your senses with what good food is at hand. The mercilessness of Cafe 28 on Fifth Avenue: where else but in a three-alpha city would you expect a busy 24-hour bodega with a buffet of stunning ethnic food of all persuasions, executed to near perfection? (It’s definitely not Denny’s.) Imbibing on a Saturday with an author friend at No Mad, Manhattan’s hottest bar, in its SRO furtiveness only served to make me recall a thought that vexed F. Scott Fitzgerald decades ago when he found himself in a rigorously analogous situation in Manhattan: that my life was at a high-water mark, never to be bested. Though I know it will be.

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Which is why the derivativity of Manhattan biotech chafes at me. When a biotech firm settles in New York City, it may prosper and reward shareholders, but it’s seldom trafficking in the kind of bioscience that we like to cover for you here. Manhattan biotech firms tend to take warmed-over ideas and repackage them: drug repurposings, needless reformattings and delivery systems, old wine in new skins. A NYC firm will take a minor indication for a drug, Madison Avenue that into a pressing need, and then reinvent the pills it usually comes in as nasal spray and call it miraculous. Or pinstripe a familiar medication and prove superiority in slightly spring-loaded trials. On good days this is mildly disingenuous, but never a high calling. And on bad days? Well, I saw a condo tower going up recently in Manhattan with a ...

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