912-914 days left


Roche’s acquisition of Spark makes sense. Acquiring scale and know-how in gene therapy is probably more important than specific vectors themselves. It is very difficult to find gene therapy manufacturing experts (feel free to email me! martin@thotpatrol.com) and Roche, Novartis, BioMarin, Sarepta and other companies can’t find enough of them. Who will win the hemophilia race? It probably doesn’t matter. You can just buy all the stocks: ONCE SGMO QURE BMRN as I suggested and do just fine. Pretty much all of these companies are good long ideas–even VYGR has made a comeback. How hot they may get in any given month or year is beyond my pay grade, I just know that gene therapy is changing genetic diseases and that is a 30-year tailwind one cannot deny. Still, price is always the most important thing in making any purchase: securities are no exception. Buying Nokia stock in 2000 would have made you a genius in predicting a trend but a fool in the financial markets.

Interesting article in NYT on China business policies. I see some US parallels, sadly. In every country, wealth and politics are inextricably intertwined. The other interesting article from a while back is the notion that many Chinese billionaires have died or gone missing in the last handful of years. This is an extreme form of jealousy in an autocratic country, but don’t think it doesn’t happen a little here. Bezos didn’t buy the Washington Post by accident and the atonement philanthropy we see from the billionaire class is less than ingenuous.

Clinical Trials I Noticed

A Study of Three Different Doses of VAC52416 (ExPEC10V) in Adults Aged 60 to 85 Years in Stable Health. Janssen.
Is this J&J’s answer to Prevnar? Crucell hasn’t done very much since the acquisition, so this would be very interesting and create a 3-player race over the next decade or so for pneumococcal vaccines. Kind of bearish for Pfizer.

A Research Study to See How Semaglutide Works Compared to Placebo in People With Type 2 Diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease. Novo Nordisk.
This n=3000 outcomes study in CKD/DN is ambitious.

A Study Evaluating the Efficacy and Safety of ABP 959 Compared With Eculizumab in Adult Participants with PAH. Amgen.
The Eculizumab biosimilar phase 3. No one will be taking this drug in the US in a few years, but maybe Brazil will want it.

Study Evaluating the Safety, Efficacy and Pharmacokinetics of CORT118335 in Obese Adult Patients with Schizophrenia Treated with Antipsychotic Medications. Corcept.
I don’t believe there is a cortisol-weight link, but we’ll see, I guess. All those late-night TV infomercials can’t be wrong, can they?!

Steady-State Pharmacokinetics of Rifaximin 550mg Tablets in Healthy and Hepatically Impaired Subjects. Valeant.
Perhaps a LCM play in the waiting?

A Safety Study of LY3372689 Given by Mouth to Healthy Participants.
A True FIH study with no known MOA.

A Study to Assess the Effects of Multiple Study Drug Regimens in Subjects With Newly Diagnosed Locally Advanced Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma. ABBV-181, ABBV-368, ABBV-927. AbbVie.
A little late to the party, ABBV has a trial with PD-1, OX40 and CD40 mabs. Better late than never?

Phase 1b Study of CAR2Anti-CEA CAR-T Cell Hepatic Infusions for Pancreatic Carcinoma Patients with CEA+ Liver Metastases. Sorrento Therapeutics.
Bad target, bad modality, won’t work in my opinion.

Potato Consumption and Risk of Mortality. Zhejiang University.
Yes. We study Chinese differential equation make good study.

Hydrogen Gas for Cancer Rehabilitation. Fuda Cancer Hospital, Guangzhou.
Chinese to study hydrogen gas cancer remission good family grandparents very proud. I will allow.

Vidagliptin in Older Adults with Diabetes and Mild Cognitive Impairment. University of Catania.
Wherever Catania is, hope springs eternal.

Papers I Read

Myopia is associated with education: Results from NHANES 1999-2008. Nickels et al. PLoS One 2019.
It works metaphorically, too.


Trashy has rehomed in Brooklyn, NY. Her Philly street-cat temerity will serve her well in my birthplace. For now, though, the hirsuite one is mostly cooped up in closets while she determines the relative safety of my parents. Upon feeding, she gazes at my father, wondering if he is friend or foe. Trashy isn’t the smartest cat, but hopefully she will come out of her shell soon, anyway.

16 thoughts on “2/26/2019”

  1. Not 100% in love with that tone regarding Trashy. Bless her heart, maybe she’ll flourish once she stops being bounced around from home to home like a foster child. She just needs stability and she’ll come around. In the meantime tell your dad they sell catnip spray at Walmart for about 50 cents, and the aromatherapy effect might help her relax. Hypnotherapy works wonders but cats tend to swat at pocket watches so it’s harder for them to benefit from treatment.

    Glad you’re okay.

  2. Hey Martin,

    Hope you’re doing well. I was wondering how I can send you a letter, I’m really interested in the biopharma field and would love to hear your thoughts on a few companies, drugs, as well as any career advice you’d have for a high school junior.

    Thank you,

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