Social phase and monthly contribution collections and discussion. We have a conundrum. We want to be fully invested, but we want to have cash to buy stocks that seem attractive because of an upcoming binary event. Currently this is not a problem because we have a decent cash position. The group consensus is that we should be prepared to sell existing holdings and to make a continuing effort to prioritize which stock would be the one we felt we wanted to sell. Should the stock watchers be responsible for keeping us informed of possible selling ops before the meeting so we come more prepared? Should we take a vote at the start of each meeting on what are the possible sellers if we badly want to buy something but don't have enough cash? We took a poll on what stocks we had right now that people thought would be most sellable - Pfizer (PFE) was at the top of the list as it is a company that is so large would even a dramatic binary event move its price substantially. Cephalon (CEPH) and Biogen Idec (BIIB) were distant seconds. Although there was some support for selling the two latter stocks, the feeling was that they were benefiting from recent events and are still good bets. There was little support for selling TEVA, perhaps because John provided an analysis of TEVA's latest financial results (see below) that suggest continuing growth.
So our sell list is: PFE; CEPH or BIIB; and then TEVA.
John & Jeanie reported on the status of Club Biomed's real portfolio & indexes.
Educational presentations. ECON 202 supplement by John. Jeanne asked if TEVA was just going to keep on climbing? John reported as TEVA's stock watcher - he presented the balance sheet for 2003 &endash; he pointed out they are their sales are increasing and looks like they will continue to do so also their R&D spending increased last year too. Our conclusion was that, yes, it looks like TEVA's stock price will keep on rising. Connie suggested that we think about buying more TEVA stock.
Report from the 2003-4 audit committee. The audit committee decided to present at March meeting.
Quick presentations of binary event stocks decided at last meeting.
(1) Genta (GNTA). Connie. Connie described the company's antisense bcl-2 technology, which is being employed in combination chemotherapy in many models (bcl-2 is a universal anti-apoptotic molecule that is over-expressed in many cancers). If it works it would be a large market, however data in melanoma was less than striking. Connie suggested we keep on watching Genta carefully but questioned if we wait will we miss a rise in stock after an upcoming binary event. She recommended watching the stock and admitted that she bought it herself &endash; so she is a believer. There were concerns about what would happen if their major partner, Aventis (AVE) were purchased.
(2) Progenics (PGNX). Chuck & Jordan. Progenics is a small NJ company that will need money soon so they think that it might be a possible acquisition target. Chuck described the underlying biology of methylnaltrexone and why it would have broad applications in patients undergoing opiate treatment. They have a promising opioid receptor antagonist drug in clinical trials right now with the results of the first phase 3 trial expected soon and the second multiple dose phase 3 trial already started. This drug will block opioid receptors in the gut but will not have central effects so it will help relieve constipation associated with opioid use without negatively impacting the pain relief of the opioid. It seems like there is a large market for this drug although so far the only one in phase 3 trials is the injectable form. They have recently initiated a multiple dose trial for chronic opioid treatment and the results of a single dose trial are expected soon. Jordan picked up the ball and described other activities, including anti-AIDS initiative. There were reservations expressed about the current AIDS initiative and whether it would bear fruit in the foreseeable future. There was some concern that the recent price increases reflected the AIDS initiative. They recommend buying.
(3) Conjuchem (CJC.TO). Joe, Justin & Deirdre. Deirdre, Joe & Justin described the company and its potential to exploit conjugates of bioactive peptides to large proteins that will improve their stability. It is a small Canadian company that has a binary event coming up - results of a clinical trial with a diabetic drug - GLP-1 (glucagons-like peptide) conjugated to an affinity complex (patented) that will conjugate in vivo to albumin thus extending the life span of the drug in the body. The advantage of this drug is that because it has an extended half-life it will not need to be injected as often as those of the competition. They have an extensive patent position in this area and (to Neil's obvious delight) may be an acquisition target &endash; the company has said that it hopes to partner or be acquired by a larger firm after the results of their clinical trials with the GLP conjugate are released.
Discussion: We had little time to make a decision and will reconsider all three companies at the next meeting. Conjuchem group recommended buying 100 hundred shares in anticipation of good results from the clinical trials. John thought 100 was too little so Neil suggested putting a buy in for 200 shares if the stock price fell to $10 from its current $12 between now and the March meeting. This motion was passed by the partnership.
New members voted in.
Planned Agenda items for March meeting:
- Submitted by Andrea Hooper
- Content provided by Deirdre McGarrigle & John Wagner