Biotech Stocks Lose Momentum with Greece Crisis; Blockbuster Immunotherapy Deal

Biotech Stocks in Broad Sell-Off

The biotech sector is usually immune to macro events but today the crisis in Greece gave investors an excuse to take profits. Many biotech stocks and ETFs were down over 3% faring worse than the NASDAQ down 2.4%. The sector, as tracked by IBB, is still up 18.87% YTD after hitting a high of 383 on June 23. But this now challenges the technicals which were riding to new highs off the triple top. The top performing ETF has been the XBI up 29.59% YTD  but 7% off June 23 highs. In mid-May the paths of the QQQ and the XBI diverged with QQQ losing momentum bringing in a performance differential as much as 8% but over five days now only 3.3%.The healthcare sector was down 2.16% today.

IBB  iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF daily Stock Chart

Buyers of speculative stocks were nowhere to be found; notable movers were: Aduro Bio Tech (ADRO) down 9.57%, Celldex (CLDX) down 5.43%, Epizyme (EPZM) down 8.82%, Intercept (ICPT) down 5.99% and Serepta (SRPT) down 9.85%. Large cap biopharmaceuticals usually less volatile were also hit hard down 3-4% across the board. 

Celgene/Juno Deal for Immunotherapy Technology

Juno Therapeutics (JUNO) and Celgene (CELG) announced a Ten Year collaboration for cancer and autoimmune diseases.

The initial payment to Juno is $1B plus Celgene will purchase 9.1M shares of JUNO stock at $93. The initial focus will be CAR-T and T-cell Receptor (TCR) JUNO platform technologies in immunotherapy. JUNO stock rocketed 40.8% after hours to $65.10. Other CAR-T players also moved on the Celgene/Juno news and should be watched tomorrow: bluebird bio (BLUE) at $160 was down to flat after hours and KITE was up 9.4% to $65.

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