4/19/18 GWPH hits $143 new high,  then sold off holding $134 level, after big move from $105 on cannabis drug for severe epilepsy FDA Advisory go ahead. Biotechs broadly in the red except CRSP up 6.4% and NVCR up 5%.

AstraZeneca (AZN) gained US approval for 1st line use of lung cancer drug.

Novartis (NVS) shares are down over 3% on a sales drop for Cosentyx only $580M for the quarter, well under the $615M for the fourth quarter.

XBI SPDR S&P Biotech ETF daily Stock Chart

4/17/18 1 P Biotech Rally Underway-Update

XBI up 2.69%, IBB up 2.26%, QQQ up 2% at $165.85, ALXN up 3.98, AMGN up 2%, BIIB up 2%, MRK up 1.33%, VRTX up 2.88%. All mid caps up big GWPH up 10.78%.


Biotechs Stalled Despite Healthcare Rally

Merck Gains on New Keytruda Data-More Clinical Trials Underway to Expand Uses

Healthcare and NASDAQ stocks caught bids on Monday with the XLV up 0.79%, but biotechs were in the red (IBB) down 0.68 %. Drug distributors and drugstores rallied on news that Amazon(AMZN) shelved plans  to sell drugs to hospitals and other businesses. CVS Health (CVS) was up 4.2%, Cardinal Health (CAH) up 3.1%, McKesson (MCK) up 3.1%  and United Health (UNH) up 2.9%, as this sector recovered from a big hit in February.

Large cap biopharma stocks we’re mixed even though data on expensive immunotherapy drugs for lung cancer showed improved survival with investors betting that Merck’s Keytruda would do better than Opdivo from Bristol-Myers Squibb. 2017 sales for Keytruda topped $3.8B in 2017. Survival rates for lung cancer (~20%) still lag many other cancers. Merck (MRK) was up 2.6% while Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) was down 7.79%.

Abbvie (ABBV) was up 0.84% and Celgene (CELG) held the $90 level up 1.28%.

Large cap investors can add Merck (MRK) with potential gains ahead and a 3.38% dividend. As we await Q1 earnings we can better forecast winners among the large caps.

Mid-cap biopharma stocks were mainly losers except  Alkermes (ALKS) up 4.47% and Tesaro (TSRO) up 6.22%. Clovis Oncology (CLVS) sunk 10.27% to $54.41 on news of proposed  offerings of convertible senior notes and stock.

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Meeting takes place in Chicago this week so we can expect more clinical updates.

Disclosure long BMY, MRK


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