Monday, September 29, 2014

Watching Television for Allergy Relief

Looking to master the quiet sneeze or get relief from those itchy, watery eyes? If so, consider watching television, at least long enough to catch an allergy commercial. Research by Professor Emir Kamenica, with Robert Naclerio of the Pritzker School of Medicine, and Anup Malani of the University of Chicago Law School, suggests these advertisements may improve the efficacy of drugs for some allergy sufferers.

Pharmaceutical companies spent $4.8 billion in 2006 alone on direct-to-consumer advertising in the United States, four times more than they spent in 1996. The spending is controversial, as commercials can motivate patients to seek prescriptions for the drugs advertised, regardless of whether that’s medically necessary. Kamenica, Naclerio, and Malani wondered if the commercials cause placebo-like effects in patients. 

Read more at Capital Ideas: Itchy, watery eyes? Try watching TV

Friday, September 26, 2014

Can Conatus Pharmaceuticals Duplicate Intercept's Success?

Conatus Pharmaceuticals (CNAT-$6.03) is developing a first-in-class, orally active pan-caspase protease inhibitor, called emricasan, which is designed to reduce the activity of the caspase family of related enzymes that mediate inflammation (measured as serum ALT) and cell death, or apoptosis (measured as biomarker cCK18).

It is postulated that by inhibiting hepatocyte apoptosis and subsequent profibrogenic activity, emricasan’s dual mechanism of action could offer a viable therapeutic option to slow progression across the entire spectrum of fibrotic liver disease(s).  

The share price of CNAT has slipped some 35% from its summer high of $9.48 a share, due to a pullback in small capitalization stock valuations and an announced delay for release of topline results from a pivotal NASH trial.

To read about possible upside, value-creating catalysts at CNAT, subscribe to, one of the top-rated biotech stock blogs: WHY CONATUS FELL OUT OF BED IN THE SECOND HALF

Editor David J Phillips no longer holds a financial interest in any stocks mentioned in this article. The 10Q Detective has a Full Disclosure Policy. 

Monday, September 08, 2014

Keryx Biopharmaceutical's Kidney Drug Approved - What Now?

Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (KERX-$17.01) announced that the FDA approved Ferric Citrate (formerly known as Zerenex) for the control of elevated serum phosphorus levels in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) on dialysis. The share price declined more than 5% on the news, however, on investor concerns that an unexpected safety warning – the drug package label must include the potential risk of “iron-overload” – could slow market share uptake.

Given hemochromatosis is a known risk with the iron-based phosphate binding, the sell-off had more to do with a “profit-from-the-news” event than the putative warning label.

Premium subscribers at were one-step ahead of Wall Street, having been told earlier: “Given uncertain commercialization prospects for the oral phosphate binder Zerenex in obtaining meaningful market share in the dialysis-treatment space due to managed care and competitive risks, investors might look to lock in existing gains with a suggested options hedge strategy – at least until a clearer picture emerges on the potential use of Zerenex in managing elevated serum phosphorus levels and iron deficiency anemia in non-dialysis dependent (NDD) CKD patients.”

Editor David J Phillips no longer holds a financial interest in any stocks mentioned in this article. The 10Q Detective has a Full Disclosure Policy.