We will be attending the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco next week looking for new ideas. Healthcare overall has been a laggard (up 1.87% vs 11.47% S&P for one year period) but subsectors such as diagnostics, tools, large cap drugs and selected biotech stocks have done well over the past 12 months.
Ardea Biosciences (RDEA $28.30) is up 7.9% today on positive RDEA594 Phase IIb gout data in allopurinol non-responders. At the highest dose tested 600mg,there was a 30% mean reduction in serum uric acid reduction compared to only 3% for the placebo. The safety profile looks good. Phase III is expected to start late this year.The Ardea pipeline includes MEK inhibitors for cancer in Phase I and an NNRTI in Phase II for HIV. The Company has a good cash position of $83M and a market cap of $653M. Ardea was added to the Rayno Biopharmaceutical Portfolio on 2/2/09 at $12.
Immucor (BLUD $20.65) is up 7% on fiscal Q2 results as profits rose with expense cuts. Revenues were $81.5M down $1M and diluted earnings were $0.30 vs $0.28 in the same period last year. Shareholder Equity improved to $507.5M up from $456M in the prior quarter. Average earnings estimates for the fiscal year ending May’11 are $1.13/sh. The stock hit a low of around $16.5 in November and has since recovered to near its 52 week high of $22.79. Price to sales is about 4.4X.
Quidel (QDEL $13.66) is up 3.2 % after taking a big hit yesterday down from $14.40 to $13.20. The Company warned on January 5 that its revenues would be below forecast citing a shortfall in sales of influenza testing products. The Revenue update was $31.5M for Q4 down from forecasts of $37.5M. Part of the reason for the drop was the unusually high revenues from influenza products during the Flu epidemic in the prior year quarter. The Company also announced a public offering to sell 4M shares.
Other movers in the Rayno Life Science Portfolios include Cardiovascular Systems (CSII $12.27) up 5.4%, Abaxis (ABAX $24.64) down 3.18% and Micromet (MITI $7.96) down 2.8%.