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Thursday, February 16, 2006

[Biotechnology]Make Me Taller Please!

Wanna Get Taller? Watching the basketball player making a slam dunk is probably the most exciting moments in a game. Whenever I see those 6 or 7 footer flying on the court, I envy them not only having the jumping ability but also having the height. Right at 5 foot 6, I probably shouldn't complain too much as there are still a lot more people with the same or less height. Yet there are some people who would definitely complain about their height. Some of these have what we called endocrine disorder or IGF-1 deficiency. In plain English these people have growth disorder due to lack or deficiency of growth hormone.

Fortuntely with the advancing biotechnology, there are companys who have developed drugs to treat growth disorders. Imagine if these drugs hit the mass market the companys who developed the drugs would very likely become the new pharmaceutical giants. Here are the companys who have developed drugs for treating the disease:

  • Insmed Inc. (INSM): the Glen Allen, VA based biopharmaceutical company develops drugs from the treatment of metabolic diseases and endocrine disorders. On December 12 of 2005 Insmed received approval from Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on its drug IPLEX for the treatment of growth failure in childrewn with severe primary IGF-1 deficiency or with growth hormone gene deletion. The company is expected to launch IPLEX to the market by the second quarter of 2006. The stock, currently trading at only $2.33 per share has gained more than 50% since the announcement and could go hire as the launching date getting closer.
  • Tercica Inc. (TRCA): the Birsbane, CA based firm also received approval of its growth disorder treatment drug Increlex in August, four month earlier than its rival Insmed. However the stock plunged 33% in one day to new 52 week low of $6.4 on the day the competitor got OK from FDA on the endocrine disorders treatment drug. On Wednesday, February 15 the company reported wider net loss for fourth quarter due to higher intellectual property litigation expense and pre-launch commercial activities for Increlex. To maintain the financials at a healthier level, the company announced in late January to sell another 5 million shares.

Both these companys are still in need of cash prior to the mass commercialization of their blockbuster drugs. Investing in these stocks incurs risks yet the return could be sweet as the company began to cash in on the sale of the drugs.


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