Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Briefs: CPST's Presidential Mention, HGSI's Pipeline Pickup, MNKD Drifting Lower

CPST:  Capstone Turbine may have just joined the big boys of the clean energy sector when US President Barak Obama gave the company a shout-out during a speech in Brasil about exports and clean energy.

The company's stock pushed through the $2 barrier on Wednesday on more than double the average volume.

News, exposure and geopolitical events are all on Capstone's side right now, so it's yet to be seen how high this one can go.

That said, the company is still waiting on profitability.

Read my latest article on Seeking Alpha for more on the subject of Capstone's Presidential Mention.

Disclosure:  Long CPST.

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HGSI:  On the heels of receiving the first FDA approval for a lupus treatment in over half a century, Human Genome Sciences boosted its pipeline last week by acquiring the rights to commercialize and market a cancer drug from FivePrime Thereapeutics.

The deal cost Human Genome an up-front payment of $50 million, but milestone payments and additional conditions could make the deal worth as much as $500 million.

Previous company reporting has indicated that Human Genome will have Benlysta on the market later this year, so as the money starts rolling in, HGSI will be looking to play with the big dogs of the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors.

The season is ripe for big pharma to boost pipelines, and this deal with FivePrime shows that Human Genome just might be ready to take the next step.

Shares of HGSI are heading back down to pre-approval levels, making it a tempting buy for those looking towards the long term.

Disclosure:  No position.

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MNKD:  Although Mannkind is down right now,  it's definitely not out.  As the stock drifts in the mid three dollar range on unimpressive volume, investors may want to remember that the possibility of a rebound still exists, both in the short and long term.

Over the short term, talks of a partnership deal to bring Afrezza the rest of the way to market could materialize.  Any announcement on that front could lead to a boost in price, especially if a deal were to bring in some extra cash to fund the additional trial needed to bring Afrezza before the FDA again.

Alfred Mann, Mannkind's founder and CEO, has dished out a metric ton of his own cash to take the product this far, and some cash relief from an outside source would undoubtedly come as a relief to Mr. Mann and the company.

Still highly risky, but a decent rebound play, in my opinion, and it looks like MNKD is trading below the radar, if not off the screen, right now.

On a related note, Generex, whose Oral-lyn is the chief Afrezza competition, is set to hold a conference call on March 30th to discuss the way forward for Oral-lyn and AE-37, the company's cancer immunotherapy treatment.

The call could be significant for Mannkind as well, as any update on Oral-lyn will give investors an indication if Generex might be able to get their product to market first.

Disclosure:  Long GNBT, MNKD call options.


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