February 8, 2018 5:58am

Sector intelligence and perspective


I welcomed the upside yet question the aftermath based on computerized trading as more of the surges were in nanoseconds


The market closed down as the sector closed up – what next brown cow?

Q4/17 results start with ONVO followed by Friday’s AGTC – spending and cash positions will be closely watched.


Pre-open indications: 3 BUYs and 6 SELLs


Lower open expected

Dow futures are DOWN -0.09% (-22 points) and NASDAQ futures are UP +0.14% (+10 points)



U.S. stock index futures were under slight pressure ahead of Thursday's open

European stocks traded lower

Asian shares mostly climbed on Thursday after last session's rally faltered late in the day.


Issues to be faced at the open: investors remain on edge over the volatile trading; earnings are set to stir up sentiment during Thursday's session.

Data docket: jobless claims are due to be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Political issues: investors will be keeping an ear out for any news out of the speeches made by members of the U.S. Federal Reserve.



Been where, done what …

Last week’s RegMed, stem and cell therapy sector’s record over 5 sessions (of 40 covered companies):

·         Wednesday closed POSITIVE with 13 decliners, 25 advancers and 2 flats;

·         Tuesday closed POSITIVE with 12 decliners, 25 advancers and 2 flats;

·         Monday closed NEGATIVE with 32 decliners, 5 advancers and 3 flats;

·         Friday closed NEGATIVE with 31 decliners, 7 advancers and 2 flat;

·         Last Thursday closed NEGATIVE with 22 decliners, 15 advancers and 3 flat;




From Wednesday’s evening newsletter, “recovery with stronger gains while volatility is still high …the “machines” are still at work. The sector opened up, stayed up to the mid-day and closed to an upside while the indexes dived around 3 p.m. … watch out below tomorrow.”

As I stated, “The rapidity of the sell-off and the resulting buy-up is ALSO an indicator of DANGER – check your fundamentals! Stronger sector tops tend to be a process, not an event as a big tailwind is bound to turn into a headwind.”

Sector stocks anticipate a lower open after major market volatility and more than scattered selling amongst those share prices that rose during the conflagration; in other words I “feel” some downside coming!



Today’s indications:

  • The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology (IBB) is NOT indicating in Thursday’s pre-market;
  • The SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI) is indicating a NEGATIVE -0.19% in Thursday’s pre-market;
  • The Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLV) is NOT indicating in Thursday’s pre-open;
  • The iShares Russell 2000 (IWM) is indicating a NEGATIVE -0.75% in Thursday’s pre-open



Companies in my headlights:

Adverum Biotechnologies (ADVM) closed up +$0.20 to $7.10. ADVM announced an offering post the close and the shares are down -$0.05 or -0.63% - SELL;

Applied Genetic Technologies (AGTC) closed up +$0.20 to $4.25 after Tuesday and Monday’s $4.05. AGTC announces their Q4/17 results on 2/9 (Friday) and which also has clinical trial timing issues and spending woes – Maintaining SELL;

Bellicum (BLCM) closed up +$0.61 to $6.33 and is down in the aftermarket -$0.02 or 0.32. Tuesday the shares traded at $5.72 following Monday’s $5.61 and last Friday’s $5.56 and the previous Thursday’s $5.87 – SELL;

bluebird bio (BLUE) closed up +$5.00 to $202.90 with an aftermarket indication of $1.68 or +0.83%. Tuesday traded at $197.90, Monday at $192.30, last Friday at $198.90 and last Thursday’s $205.25 – Oversold – BUY;

Cellectis SA (CLLS) closed up +$0.05 to $29.79 with an aftermarket indication of +$0.33 or +1.10%. Tuesday the shares traded at $29.74 as the week started out at $28.53 as Last Friday traded at $30.06 and last Thursday’s $31.01 - Oversold Maintaining BUY;

Capricor (CAPR) closed down -$0.06 to $1.81 with an aftermarket indication of -$0.03 or -1.66%. February started at $1.83 and January started out at $1.57 while December finished at $1.58; CAPR desperately NEEDS to re-finance, be ready for depreciation and dilution - Maintaining SELL;

Sangamo therapeutics (SGMO) closed up +$2.45 to $22.10 after announcing the award of an $11 million grant from the NIH for a planned study of gene-edited T cells designed to eradicate persistent HIV infection in patients receiving anti-retroviral therapy, a combination of medicines that slows the rate at which HIV replicates. SGMO has an aftermarket indication of -$0.20 or -0.90%. February started at $21.20 while January was priced at $17.56 – Will trader’s greed take over – SELL;

Vericel (VCEL) closed flat $7.20 having started February at $8.15 and January at $5.90 as December finished at $5.45 - SELL;

Verastem (VSTM) closed up +$0.06 to $3.42. VSTM has submitted a NDA to the FDA seeking full approval for its lead product candidate duvelisib, a first-in-class oral dual inhibitor of phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K)-delta and PI3K-gamma, for the treatment of relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL) and accelerated approval for the treatment of relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma (FL). Duvelisib had also received Fast Track Designation from the FDA for patients with CLL or peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL) who has received at least one prior therapy and for patients with FL who have received at least two prior therapies. In addition, duvelisib received orphan drug designation in the United States and the European Union for patients with CLL, SLL and FL. – Maintaining BUY;

Sangamo Therapeutics (SGMO) is presenting initial safety data from the CHAMPIONS Study, the  P1/2 clinical trial evaluating SB-913 for the treatment of mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) type II, a rare disease also known as Hunter syndrome. The data are being presented this afternoon at the 2018 WORLDSymposium medical congress being held in San Diego.  The poster presentation titled "Update on phase 1/2 clinical trials for MPS I and MPS II using ZFN-mediated in vivo genome editing" includes safety data collected and prepared as of December 27, 2017 and describes the first six weeks of experience of the first patient in the CHAMPIONS study, who was treated November 13, 2017 with a dose of 5.00E+12 vg/kg of SB-913. The patient tolerated the infusion well.  Mild (Grade 1) adverse events related to the study drug were reported on the fourth day after dosing as dizziness, weakness, and frequent urination, all of which resolved within one day without treatment.  No other adverse events related to the study drug were observed. Liver function tests have remained within normal limits for the patient since the infusion – Maintaining BUY;


Opinions expressed are those of the author and are subject to change, and not intended to be a forecast of future events, a guarantee of future results, nor investment advice.

Whether information or intelligence is good, bad or somewhere in between; I put into context what is relevant and useful for investors.  All investments are subject to risks. Investors should consider investment objectives.

Henry McCusker, the editor and publisher of RegMed Investors does not hold or have positions in securities referred to in this publication.