June 3, 2019 7:30pm

The numbers and low volumes speak while gene therapy holds great promise, yet despite revolutionary advances, a clear path from bench to bedside remains elusive

News of the day: bluebird bio (BLUE +$2.50) moved up with news of the European Commission (EC) has granted conditional marketing authorization for ZYNTEGLO™ (autologous CD34+ cells encoding βA-T87Q-globin gene), a gene therapy for patients 12 years and older with transfusion-dependent β-thalassemia (TDT)

Pre-open indications: 4 HITs and 1 MISS

A daily report may say little or a lot and its final judgement may be inconclusive; yet it serves as insurance that all indications are being examined and evaluated.


Framing the headlines … perception becomes reality! Don’t get comfortable, Monday’s session impacts Tuesday; If you were a subscriber … you would understand why!


Markets and indexes:

  • The Dow closed up +4.74 points or +0.02% to 24,819.78
  • The S&P closed down -7.61 points or -0.28% at 2,744.45
  • The NASDAQ was down -120.13 points or -1.61% to 7,333.02



Sector equities of my 45 covered companies closed up on Monday, June’s first day of trading, amid reports that the U.S. government is planning to target a host of big companies in the industry with antitrust and business practice probes.

Many equities were just oversold … which focused the upside movement!

With the tough trade talk going on, [healthcare/biotech/gene therapy] was a horse to ride!


Pre-open post: “new month of June; futures fluctuate, still lower as Trump arrives in U.K.  Significance of the week: 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL.”

I also stated, “Volatility is STILL a threat; never forgetting, this is a trading market and the sector is subject to all those computer networks!”

Expectation will be the word for 2019 – meeting the unknowns with soon to be known will be the subject of investing decisions through this year.


Pre-open indications: 4 HIT and 1 MISS

  • BioMarin Pharmaceuticals (BMRN) closed down -$0.17 – miss;
  • CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP) closed up +$0.42 – hit;
  • Editas Medicine (EDIT) closed up +$0.21 – hit;
  • Intellia Therapeutics (NTLA) closed up +$0.37- hit;
  • ReNeuron (RENE.L) closed at $5.00 – hit;


Thursday’s advance/decline line scenario of 45 covered companies:  

  • The open was negative with the A/DL at 20/22, 1flats and 2 acquired (AST & OSIR);
  • The mid-day was positive with an A/DL of 25/17 and 1 flat and 2 acquired;
  • The close was positive with an A/DL of 25/17 and 1 flat and 2 acquired;


Upside volume stats:  review the numbers, there is a message …

  • Monday: 4 out of the 25 upside had higher than the 3 month average volume;
  • Friday: 5 out of the 12 upside had higher than the 3 month average volume;

Downside volume stats: here is where the session landing is expressed …

  • Monday: 7 out of the 17 downside had higher than the 3 month average volume;
  • Friday: 3 out of the 30 downside had higher than the 3 month average volume;


Cell and gene therapy company’s worst-performers were:

  • Monday:  RENE.L (-$5.00), SAGE (-$2.72), GBT (-$2.32), ADRO (-$1.31) and VYGR (-$2.12);
  • Friday: RARE (-$2.12), ONCE (-$1.50), GBT (-$1.31), ALNY (-$1.19) and BMRN (-$1.14);

Sector equities posting gains were:

  • Monday: QURE (+$5.33), $BLUE (+$2.50), RGNX (+$1.90), RARE (+$1.21) and MDXG (+$0.84);
  • Friday: RENE.L (+$10.00), QURE (+$1.80), IONS (+$0.88), SLDB (+$0.32) and ADRO (+$0.15);


The week’s percentage (%) indicators: 

  • Monday’s range of the 25 upside was +0.01% (ONCE) to +18.46% (MDXG) while the 17 downside ranged from -0.21% (BMRN) to -40.31% (ADRO);
  • Friday’s range of the 12 upside was +0.23% (BLFS) to +12.04% (HSGX) while the 30 downside ranged from -0.08% (SAGE) to -31.35% (ONVO);

1 flat – BSTG with 2 acquired (AST & OSIR) and the Spark Therapeutics’ (ONCE) acquisition by Roche still being delayed


The iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology (IBB) indicator:

  • Monday closed up +1.08%;
  • Friday closed down -1.78%;


June’s sessions:

Monday closed POSITIVE with 17 decliners, 25 advancers, 1 flat and 2 acquired (AST & OSIR);

Q2/19 so far:

  • In May, there were 14 negative, 1 holiday and 8 positive closes;
  • In April, there has been 10 positive and 11 negative closes;


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.