by DrKSSMDPhD | December 15, 2016 8:06 pm
[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.]
Ho ho ho! And Happy Christmas to all Stock Gumshoe readers. During this holiday season, we realize you may have less time to read than usual, and yet want to keep you high in spirits (as opposed to merely high on spirits!). A dreadful interval in biotech seems to have passed and we are looking forward to next year’s biotech investing like at no time in any previous year. And we thought we’d keep you involved, keep you titillated, keep you optimistic, by letting some cats at least part way out of the bag. We’ve got a list of 12 biotechs to pique your curiosity, stir your passion, and maybe cause alpha generation in your trading accounts. A good life needs punctuation by moments of real happiness, and what is happier than having things to look forward to?
We’ll introduce the first of these today.
I’ve told readers I keep a speculative planter of biotech stocks whose names I’m not always ready to disclose. I watch them, study them, wait for them to appear to be coming ’round at the right speed. Then I spring them on you at what is meant to be a good entry point.
Aptose ($APTO) is a company I’ve been feeding and watering for over two years. I’ve seen it through a very bad time, one in which I wondered whether it could continue as a going concern. But it has overcome its problems and now re-emerges for your consideration as a starkly undervalued company quite possibly ready to retrace its share price steps.
We’ve spoken before in columns and threads about modes of using substances to treat cancer. The oldest mode, around since the 40’s, uses chemicals to poison cancer cells into necrosis; this is standard chemotherapy, and as a didactic device we have referred to it as “black mode” therapy.
“Red mode” therapy is using small molecules to inhibit enzymes made by cancer cells that drive the cancer cells. Gleevec (imatinib) from Novartis $NVS was the first example of such a therapy, and all the drugs being developed by Blueprint Medicines $BPMC are red-moders.
“White mode” is immuno-oncology: using CAR-T, TCR, CAR-NK and checkpoint inhibitors to fight cancer by overcoming cancer’s ability to seduce the immune system into passivity.
And finally, there is “green mode,” which is triggering cancer cells to commit suicide, to undergo apoptosis. Cells WANT to do this when they become cancerous but are subverted and undermine from doing so by sneaky mechanisms, only partly understood, conferred by cancer. Green mode agents are drugs that restore the natural tendency of cancer cells to apoptosis. This is a promising field although one with yet but a few entrants.
$APTO’s lead agent is an apoptosis restorer now demonstrated to have high efficacy in AML (everything works for AML these days, eh?). But the data are so promising and the stock so undervalued that this one could be an earnest 10-bagger in the making. Sell-side analysts, FWIW, agree with that assessment. We like the science on which Aptose is premised and think this may prove to be a powerhouse dynamo Canadian onc player like Trillium $TRIL.
This isn’t advice or solicitation for you to invest in $APTO. But it’s to tell you we’re in, and adding, and like what we see. And that we’ll be presenting the Aptose (“apoptosis”….get it?) story in full in a column in 2017. I’m also invested in $BPMC and $TRIL, but will defer from trading in any of these stocks for 72 hours after this column appears.
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