Among the biggest winners in Monday's early trading are
PolyMet Minerals (AMEX:
Top Percentage Gainers -- Monday, June 28,
Company Name (Ticker)
*Table includes companies with minimum market
capitalizations of $200 million and three month trading
volumes of at least 100,000 shares. All percentage returns
are listed as of 11:45AM Eastern Standard Time . Click on
ticker symbols for up-to-the-minute price quotes and
percentage gain data.
Amylin Produces a Safe Profile
During the past few weeks, several biotech stocks that are focused
on diabetes have been in the news as sharp gainers or losers. It's
no coincidence. This is the time of year when many of these firms
update the clinical progress for their key drugs and devices,
highlighting their respective efficacy and toxicity. Diabetes is
already a large and growing problem in the United States, and as
obesity rates spike in China, could soon become a global problem.
Biotech firms, and their Big Pharma partners, see potential
"blockbuster opportunity" in everything they pursue in this area.
Amylin Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:
, which issued a flurry of press releases over the weekend
regarding its Byetta drug. This isn't about a drug still in
testing, but rather one that is already on the market, is seeing
rising competition, and could have lost a lot of sales if ongoing
testing showed that Byetta causes a spike in pancreatitis, a
painful and dangerous condition in which the pancreas can shut
down. Investors are giving a sigh of relief on Monday morning, as
the company's latest data show no adverse effects on the pancreas.
Shares are up +2%.
But it's a fiercely competitive market. A new entrant from
Novo Nordisk (NYSE:
has just launched, and quickly generated 20%
in its first quarter on the market. In addition, Roche is testing
its own diabetes drug, so market share battles could become fierce.
Roche's rival Taslo drug has seen some recent delays in its
clinical approval process, which led investors to push up shares of
Amylin over the last few weeks.
Action to Take -->
This is a biotech segment with too many players and too many FDA
questions, and is best left for investors that are deeply focused
in this area.
Orexigen's Strong Data
The treatment of alarmingly high national obesity rates is a clear
precursor to tackling the rising tide of diabetes sufferers.
Efforts to shed weight, though, can be very discouraging for many,
leading to a vicious cycle of depression and over-eating once
again. To tackle that problem,
has developed Contrave, which lessens symptoms of depression and
improves eating control.
Orexigen is up sharply on Monday morning after the company released
strong data from its clinical trials at this weekend's annual
meeting of the American Diabetes Association in Orlando, Fla. The
drug led to moderate weight loss (5%) over the course of the year,
but also lowered blood glucose levels. The company hopes to secure
final FDA approval late this year, and begin product sales next
Action to Take -->
This is a potentially large market, but is also being pursued by
larger rivals such as
Arena Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:
, both of which are showing promising clinical data as well. Yet
the market for obesity and diabetes is so vast that this niche
industry could yield several winners. Even though shares of
Orexigen are up nicely on Monday, they trade for less than half of
the 52-week high. Further research is warranted here.
Did you know that one of the largest undeveloped deposits of copper
and nickel resides right here in the United States? The mineral
belt, centered near Duluth, Minn., is vast, but also near many
sensitive bodies of water. So any decision to mine the area has
been a slow process.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (
) has been taking applications, and has been slow to approve them.
The regulatory body expressed major concerns with an application
from a first-mover in the region,
PolyMet Mining (AMEX:
. Once it looked as if PolyMet would not be able mine nickel and
copper in the area, shares moved into freefall, from $3.75 in late
January to just $1.31 last Thursday. But Friday morning,
long-suffering investors got good news. The company's plan
modifications have found favor, and the application process is once
again moving forward. Shares rebounded +18% on Friday, and are up
another +14% today.
Action to Take -->
Despite the sharp rebound, shares are still well below levels seen
this past winter. It's unclear how long the EPA process will take
to complete, and if it will ultimately lead to a full mining
permit. But the reward just got much better than the risk in this
stock. For speculative investors, this could prove to be very
-- David Sterman
Disclosure: Neither StreetAuthority, LLC nor the David Sterman
hold positions in any securities mentioned in this report.
© Copyright 2001-2010 StreetAuthority, LLC. All Rights Reserved.