Moderna is a good short. With winter’s inexorable arrival, concept biotech looks like a good short while there are pockets of good value in high probability development projects and specialty pharma (non-generics).

New generic ROIC has dropped from unbelievable to meh. Only those who can invest heavily in capex or find extreme niches will find success. The overlevered landscape is not auspicious and may help deflate competition at the margin, but an ugly ‘new normal’ is here for generics. I would not be long TEVA, for instance. Buffett may be right (by accident) if the bet is on biosimilars (which Teva is fairly weak in), or perhaps ROW generic performance. But as far as the US is concerned, these armageddon conditions will prevail.

GSK has done a marvelous job replacing Advair/Seretide. A generic Advair would mean next to nothing to GSK now. They’ve also reshaped the portfolio quite well. Still my favorite big pharma.

SOBI’s new antibody will be really interesting.

We will be doing Celgene as the first “deep dive”. Thanks for your comments.

Papers I’ve Read
Drosophila model of myosin myopathy rescued by overexpression of a TRIM-protein family member. Dahl-Halvarsson, et al. PNAS 2018.
I am not too familiar with most of the rare disease purely-cardiac myopathies. This was a good catch-up without being a review. The workers overexpressed “Abba/Thin” to rescue Mhc-mutant phenotyes.

Local structure can identify and quantify influential global spreaders in large scale social networks. Hu et al. PNAS 2018.
I’ve been reading more applied math articles. A lot of work has been done on information “spreading” models.

Brief Review – “Things That Mattter” by Charles Krauthammer
Krauthammer is a transcendent essayist who I’d almost enter into a conspiracy to write like (criminal justice joke). This collection of essays is humbling for any writer, professional or begrudging practitioner (guess which one I am). Further, I just like this guy–a chess and math fan, a conservative and a PHYSICIAN! A lifelong spinal cord injury victim who recently passed away (I think), Krauthammer is a fairly inspirational (and perhaps missed) figure in politics.
This collection of his works shines when it discusses personal affairs, such as the death of a family member, a baseball game and other mundane “things that matter”. His political writing, especially on domestic affairs is also and convincing. He writes accessibly, endearingly and logically–usually without beating the reader over the head. The essays on his interventionalist leanings are less exciting, probably because of my own personal isolationist perspective, but still provide a narrative to consider. I recommend the book to any conservatives confused by the current hyperpartisan/no-compassion meta-neocon-nihilist environment.

In a run of bad cards or bad beats, one feels like such an idiot. In the opposite run, an unstoppable player ready for WSOP. Taming those emotions is tough and probably more than 50% of the game. The actual theories are fairly trivial and probabilistic. I think sometimes we read too much into some variables in the game: the ultra-meta is probably not where “the money is”. I’m still feeling my way around this game but I get the sense that interpreting primary game conditions (player tendency variables such as loose/tight, aggressive/passive, pre-flop playbook, general aptitude, always cbet/not always cbet; aggregate table tendencies such as volume, speed, etc.), emotional control and good theoretical underpinnings are the likely key to the game. Most top players will not edge each other out over the long run. I could be very wrong on that but I doubt the money is made being Tom Brady vs. Brett Favre, but just in being a NFL starting QB vs. not being an NFL starting QB.

My last big bad beat was a Qs flush from the flop, outdrew by the Kxo when the fourth spade flopped. Drawer is gonna draw.

Sorry for the typo in the last hand I posted! Will try not to make it happen again.

My Bills came through, in the “battle of the bums” against the sorry Jets. I pushed on the sorry Jags and lost with the Dolphins. So 9-2-1, last 12 games. I’ve toned down the NBA as my bankroll suffered but will be returning soon.

Why did it suffer? I took the Golden State moneyline, which was a “too good to be true” 40c on the dollar. Of course, for their 2nd loss of the season, the Warriors went down.

To all the US Senators who were not re-elected and used me as a campaign prop. You barked up the wrong tree. That tree fell on you. I make no apologies–you made your own bed. To all future would-be political opponents: I have a very long memory and an enormous amount of money growing at a rapid pace. Play games with your career at your own risk.


22 thoughts on “11/13/2018”

  1. Seems like both Teva and Mylan arent in a great position (actually, hurting something fierce), perhaps because of
    Mayne? Albeit, they’re not doing terribly well, either. What’s your take on it? I find it incredibly annoying when a regular trip to the pharmacy becomes a, ‘wtf is this trash,’ situation.


    My personal beef is – I’ve been a longtime customer and as a result I’ve grown to keep an eye out for manufacturer changes and mergers. I absolutely hate it when I go to pick up my meds and, surprise! Mfg change!

    I have a rare genetic disease and am sensitive to binders, fillers, and dyes in that, one generic will do the job while the other will have no effect or worsen the symptom in question. That being said – I was not happy with the whole Watson/Actavis thing, which I assume you know all about.
    I will not go into detail as to why, but, suffice to say the side-effects were unpleasant.

    If youre interested, take a look into MCAD/MCAS (mast cell activation disease/syndrome, respectively), POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, and EDS (Ehlers-Danlos syndrome – note: there are a variety of types/subtypes of this syndrome ranging between one with a high mortality rate (vascular EDS, and it’s subtypes) to one which mostly involves joint laxity, GI issues, poor enamel, and soft skin). There hasnt been much research into the mutation linking these three.

    Perhaps, you’re familiar and it doesnt strike your fancy, or perhaps youll be able to lend a hand. Its heartbreaking to learn of /anyone/, child or adult, having died due to awareness or research into these syndromes.

    Now that I’ve written a book, I’m done. Hope you’re well.

  2. Just commenting to say I love reading your blog, man. I check in once
    a week because I find the window into your thoughts fascinating. Hope you’re hanging in there. Thanks for posting!

  3. Hello Martin,
    I am a great fan of yours and enjoyed your weekly series on investing.

    I would like to know what is your portfolio management process ? When do you cut losses ? When to take profits ? How ?

    See you Big Rolls

  4. I think the markets are underestimating litigation hits that the generic players who dabbled in opioids will take. The trial bar will take no prisoners and everyone who ever sold a bottle will end up paying 9 figures – or more.

    These stocks cannot be owned. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

  5. But Dems that didn’t talk about you took the house just fine.

    And sometimes you got to read past the headlines, Hillary is not running for president. You guys sometimes need to worry about what Trump is doing now, not
    a Hillary fantasy that doesn’t exist.

  6. Hello Martin,
    I am a big fan of yours and I miss your weekly series on investing.
    I want to have your take on portfolio management and how do you decide on when to cut losses and to take profits.
    Also, what do you of the overall gene therapy landscape ?

  7. Dear Martin,
    I would like to embark your offer to take a look on an (antibody) biopharma company. Is it still this adress I can send you a publication and a company┬┤s description ? I will send the post from Sweden, so the snail will need a bit longer…

    Register #87850-053
    FCI Fort Dix
    Federal Correctional Institution
    PO Box 2000
    Joint Base MDL, NJ 08640

    Thank you !!

    best, Alexej

  8. Hmm, for some reason I can’t edit my comment. Not cool.

    Anyhow, I reread my comment and I realized I’ve gotta make a few corrections:

    a. ‘…lack of * awareness’

    b. Joints may be given to full and/or partial dislocation.’

    c. ‘..and soft, stretchy* skin.
    This is typically checked for during a clinical exam done by a geneticist (or a rheumatologist, though, they’d rather throw everything into the fibromyalgia-dumpster, so, not the best way to go), and a significant phenotypic give-away of the hypermobility variant (at the very least – this typically leads to a test for COL3A1, and COL5A1 mutations, which result in vascular EDS and cassical EDS, respectively) as (asfar as I know) no gene nor mutation has been found – yet.

    They pull on the skin on the inner forearm and/or other not-normally-stretchy bits of skin to determine elasticity.

    Extra info:
    Tenascin X and MTHFR mutations are also related.


  9. Can you talk about Amarin ($AMRN), the reduce it trial and Acasti pharma too (krill oil drug potentially better than $AMRN). Wanted to see what your viewpoint of situation is.

  10. Martin, those last two paragraphs put such a huge smile on my face. It’s good to know that retribution still exists in America.

    1. I don’t really get it. I don’t like Hillary, but don’t hat the player, hate the game. I really doubt Shkreli supporters affected any political outcomes. We are a small community and most of us share Martin’s voter apathy.

      All that said, I look forward to the memes.

  11. Any party willing to let Hillary champion for them is just shooting themselves in the foot, you should be smart enough to know this.

    Excited for the deep dive!

  12. Like in sports, even among avid fans, the delusion of grandeur from a predicted team victory will likely negate all other parameters and variables in the aftermath of such an out come. As it relates to politics, I feel it is the same. I believe it may be misguided and certainly wishful thinking, but I hope one day to rid this silly game we call the two party system. Maybe then the general public could focus less on their team and more on the players. The nausea that trump has alleviated will I think be both volatile and short lived.

    On Krauthammer
    Though we disagreed on a multitude of topics, I found his publishings very honest and transparent. It is also worth noting his resilience and accomplishments following his debilitating injury. Nonetheless I miss hearing his commentary.


  13. Constantly reminded of how the world needs more people like you. Einstein/Tesla both no longer here. Alex Jones being censorsed as if he were some sort of madman.
    I have strong faith that you will make a big mark on the world. Hope to see out soon doing what you love and looking forward to your next album review. Stay strong as always my dude.


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