Thursday, May 03, 2007

Rolling the Dice on Bird Flu Stocks -- One Year Later

In 2006, scientists fervently worked on a treatment for H5N1, or bird flu, fearful that infected humans in China might be the start of a possible pandemic.

This interest in experimental drugs and vaccines drew investors to any biotech stock that was remotely doing anything avian-related in nature. Sadly, like
Tulipomania, dot-coms, and nanotechnology stocks, investors who rolled the dice on bird flu stocks—for the most part—have lost, ending up with a come-out roll of 2, 3 or 12 on their pass-line bet.

15 plays on bird flu
2/19/06 Price
% Chng.
Key product
Endo Pharma (ENDP, news, msgs)
Symmetrel, FDA-approved to treat influenza A *
Carrington Labs (CARN, news, msgs)
Rec'd $6M grant from U.S. to develop H5N1 vaccine
Dynavax Technologies (DVAX, news, msgs)
Imunostimulatory sequence technology to target virus
Vical (VICL, news, msgs)
Developing DNA-based vaccine vs. H5N1
AVANT Immuno (AVAN, news, msgs)
Announced plans to research H5N1 vaccine
AVI BioPharma (AVII, news, msgs)
Antisense-based therapeutic
Crucell (CRXL, news, msgs)
PER.C6 tech used by Sanofi in H5N1 vaccine development
Hemispherx BioPharm (HEB, news, msgs)
Alferon, stimulates Interferon to defend vs. H5N1
Novavax (NVAX, news, msgs)
Technology may help speed H5N1 vaccine development
BioCryst Pharm (BCRX, news, msgs)
Peramivir, which may inhibit H5N1 virus
Alnylam Pharm (ALNY, news, msgs)
Announced plan to develop RNAi therapeutic for H5N1
Generex Biotechnology (GNBT, news, msgs)
Developoing anti-H5N1 vaccine w/ Antigen Express tech
CombiMatrix Group (CBMX, news, msgs)
Microarray for typing flu viruses
Qiagen (QGEN, news, msgs)
DNA test for flu viruses
Sinovac Biotech (SVA, news, msgs)
Anflu, licensed in China as antiflu vaccine

Source: PharmaWeek; MSN Money; company reports;

Prudent investors would have been wise to heed an NASD alert issued back in December 2005, Bird Flu Stock Scam Could Be Hazardous To Your Financial Health, that warned of companies claiming to be poised to capitalize on helping the world avoid a global pandemic with allegedly proprietary breakthrough treatments.

David J Phillips holds no financial interest in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. The 10Q Detective has a FULL DISCLOSURE policy.

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