Biotechnology Stocks Look Ripe For Pullback Before EOM

Biotechnology stocks look ready to pullback after rallying 11% since August 21, 2017. The key support level to watch on IBB is 329.

Biotechnology Stocks

Biotechnology stocks ETF IBB looks a bit toppy.

Notice how our favorite swing trading indicator the PPO shows falling histogram bars (red arrow). The falling PPO suggests IBB will likely retest its 329 support level within the next week. We might see a chop out to slightly higher move and then a break down through the 329 support level before the end of September.

Don’t buy the biotechnology stocks hype on mainstream financial websites like Seeking Alpha, MarketWatch, and Daily Reckoning.

I would not go long biotech stocks right now and would NOT take Tarun Chandra’s advice on SeekingAlpha here.

Also watch out for MarketWatch who awarded Greg Guenthner their “Call of the Day” because he wrote here:

Bottom line: the late-summer fade is finished. Biotech stocks are ready to finally put the finishing touches on a months-long quest to reassert the sector as a true market leader.

I like trading biotechnology stocks. Biotechs have the best catalysts of any sector and I did a stock trading lesson on finding catalysts here. What I don’t like about biotech stocks is a strategy that involves chasing them higher. Chasing high-beta biotechs is stock trading suicide IMO. Wait for the September (worst month of the year for stocks) dip that usually comes towards the end of the month before taking a long entry in biotech stocks.

Forget Top Penny Stocks, Biotech ETF Looks Like the Better Play

I love penny stocks but here’s a setup so juicy I say forget gambling on top penny stocks, just go for the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF XBI. The chart of XBI looks pretty awesome for a swing long trade.

I spend a lot of time searching through small cap biotech stocks but I have to say, this biotech ETF chart seems to beat them all with a lot less risk too.

Biotech ETF Instead of Top Penny Stocks

Don’t get me wrong, I will keep looking for good biotech penny plays but the ETF XBI looks like a lower risk setup to play.

XBI looks like a decent setup on a Bull Flag pattern. Over the last 12 trading days, we’ve had three pocket pivot signals which is bullish.

The Effective Volume indicator shows a beautiful positive divergence between large volume orders and price action, another bullish indicator.

There is reduced volatility while prices have been consolidating but we don’t yet have a momentum squeeze setup.

The True Strength Index is starting to round out but we don’t yet have a bullish cross.

Who needs top penny stocks when a safer ETF sets up like XBI? Still, it’s biotechs so be careful and really get that good entry. A good entry is the difference between a winning and losing trade.

GO HERE TO CHART LARGE PLAYERS AND THE TWIGGS MONEY FLOW LIKE THE CHART ABOVE… AWESOME TOOL

Ishares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF Does Breakout On Momentum Squeeze

The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF confirmed a breakout today for the biotech sector. The chart shows a textbook Momentum Squeeze that began on June 1, 2017.

iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF Chart

We are seeing a strong rotation back into the Biotech sector this week evidenced by a breakout from multi-week consolidation patterns.

That was a textbook squeeze before the pop where the Bollinger Bands broke inside the Keltner Channels.

On the weekly chart of IBB we had a Pocket Pivot signal this week which suggests heavy buying and a trend change and is marked by the blue dots on the chart below.

We have an incredible breakout above the 302 resistance level today. Over the next few weeks, I would like to see a pullback to the 302 level and then see if that previous 302 resistance level becomes support. That would make for an excellent long entry in biotechs.

GO HERE TO SCREEN FOR MOMENTUM SQUEEZE AND POCKET PIVOT STOCKS LIKE THE CHART ABOVE… AWESOME TOOL!

Alexion Pharmaceuticals Gets Positive Mention in Barrons

Our new long term hold Alexion Pharmaceuticals got a positive mention in Barron’s today (link above) which states how the biotech stock has lost half its value since 2015 but the stock can rise by 50% in the next 12 months. Wow!

Barron’s reasoning is pretty close to my own logic that I wrote about several days ago here. The stock is oversold and it trades at a hot Forward P/E of 15.25, making it one of the least expensive big-cap names in the NYSE Arca Biotech Index.

The company has awesome annual revenue growth of 31.5% for the past 5 years and does more than $3 billion in annual sales.

The company has explosive EPS growth of +162.9% year-over-year with an EPS growth of 85.2% quarter-over-quarter.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals was established in the U.S. in 1992 and became a public company in 1996. Alexion was added to the NASDAQ-100 Index in 2011 and to the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index in 2012. Their global headquarters and research operations are in New Haven, Conn. Alexion employs approximately 3,000 employees around the world to serve patients in 50 countries. Alexion has emerged as one of the world’s leading rare disease companies. Today, Alexion is advancing its rare disease pipeline, which, in addition to their complement and metabolic clinical programs, includes diverse preclinical programs across a range of therapeutic modalities.

Sell Immunogen For an Incredible 101% Win

May 7, 2017: Sell Immunogen for a 101% win in 85 days and congratulations if you made money on the trade.

April 19, 2017: Immunogen’s stock popped 13% today on an upgrade from Leerink Partners. Leerink Partners raised Immunogen to an Outperform rating, from Market Perform, and set a price target of $8. Leerink Partners is upgrading Immunogen based on their higher level of conviction on lead asset mirvetuximab soravtansine providing an attractive risk/reward in context of the stock’s current valuation.

January 2, 2017: Biotechnology firm Immunogen announced that results from the Phase 1 expansion cohort evaluating mirvetuximab soravtansine (IMGN853) in patients with folate receptor alpha (FRa)-positive platinum-resistant ovarian cancer were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The data demonstrate the potential clinical benefit of mirvetuximab soravtansine for the treatment of platinum-resistant ovarian cancer.

Immunogen said, “Standard single-agent therapy for patients with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer typically has a response rate below 20% and median progression-free survival below four months. Mirvetuximab soravtansine generated encouraging efficacy and tolerability data in the Phase 1 trial that suggest the potential to improve clinical outcomes for this patient population.”

The Phase 1 expansion cohort enrolled 46 patients with platinum-resistant epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer whose tumors were positive for FRa. Patients were dosed with mirvetuximab soravtansine once every three weeks. Mirvetuximab soravtansine demonstrated single-agent activity in the 46-patient cohort with a 26% confirmed response rate and median progression free survival (PFS) of 4.8 months. In a subset of 23 patients with low, medium or high FRa, who had received three or fewer prior lines of therapy, there was a 39% objective response rate (ORR) and median PFS of 6.7 months. On the basis of the study findings and additional data demonstrating the importance of FRa expression levels with mirvetuximab soravtansine, the Company has designed the Phase 3 FORWARD I study to enroll patients with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer with one to three prior therapies and with medium or high FRa. This group of patients in the Phase 1 expansion cohort exhibited a 44% ORR and a median PFS of 6.7 months.

Mirvetuximab soravtansine exhibited a manageable safety profile. Adverse events (AEs) were generally mild with the majority being grade 1 or grade 2 (least severe grades). The most commonly observed AEs were diarrhea, blurred vision, nausea, and fatigue.

Immunogen said, “These results demonstrate that mirvetuximab soravtansine is active in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer, with encouraging response rates and progression-free survival combined with a manageable safety profile. On the basis of these findings, we have moved confidently into a Phase 3 registration study evaluating this promising agent against the standard of care in the platinum-resistant setting. In addition, we are evaluating combination regimens to assess mirvetuximab soravtansine in expanded patient populations and will begin reporting data from these combinations in mid-2017.”

ImmunoGen, Inc. develops targeted anticancer therapeutics. The Company’s ADC technology uses tumor-targeting antibodies to deliver an ImmunoGen cell-killing agent specifically to cancer cells.

Sell Anavex Life Sciences For a Huge 40% Win

April 30, 2017: Sell Anavex Life Sciences for a huge 40% win and congratulations if you made money on this trade.

January 8, 2017: Institutional traders are accumulating biotechnology firm Anavex Life Sciences according to recent 13F filings. The institutional traders who bought the most shares of Anavex Life Sciences are:

BlackRock Fund Advisors = bought 843,994 shares according to 11-11-2016 filing
BlackRock Institutional Trust = bought 284,540 shares according to 11-11-2016 filing
State Street Corp = bought 218,377 shares according to 11-14-2016 filing
Bank of New York Mellon = bought 129,276 shares according to 11-12-2016 filing
Black Rock Investment Management = bought 127,022 shares according to 11-11-2016 filing
D. E. Shaw & Co = bought 105,080 shares according to 11-14-2016 filing
SUSQUEHANNA International Group = bought 102,685 shares according to 11-14-2016 filing
GEODE CAPITAL Management = bought 46,739 shares according to 11-11-2016 filing
VANGUARD GROUP INC = bought 30,148 shares according to 11-14-2016 filing
California State Teachers Retirement System = bought 68,464 shares according to 11-11-2016 filing
NORTHERN TRUST CORP = bought 58,307 shares according to 11-12-2016 filing
TIAA CREF INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT = bought 25,129 shares according to 12-12-2016 filing

November 22, 2016: Anavex Life Sciences announces data on 41-Week treatment of ANAVEX 2-73 for patients with Alzheimer’s Disease; Investigational treatment suggests to curb cognitive and functional decline. At 41 weeks, Alzheimers patients taking a daily oral dose of ANAVEX 2-73 in the exploratory, not yet dose optimized Phase 2a clinical trial, showed a stabilization of cognitive and functional measures. This data of stabilization is promising since Alzheimers disease is a progressive disease where current therapeutics are only able to temporarily slow the worsening of dementia symptoms and not stop the disease from progressing.

At 41 weeks, oral daily dosing between 10mg and 50mg, ANAVEX 2-73 was well tolerated, and no patients discontinued treatment due to adverse events. There were no clinically significant treatment-related adverse events, and no serious adverse events.

Pre-specified exploratory analyses included the cognitive (MMSE) and the functional (ADCS-ADL) changes from baseline. A continued stabilization of both cognitive (MMSE) and functional (ADCS-ADL) measures in patients treated with ANAVEX 2-73 was observed. This correlation was positive with all measured scores (MMSE, ADCS-ADL, Cogstate, HAM-D and EEG/ERP).

About the ANAVEX 2-73 Phase 2a Study

The multicenter Phase 2a clinical trial of ANAVEX 2-73 consists of two parts and a total of 32 mild-to-moderate Alzheimers patients. PART A is a simple randomized, open-label, two-period, cross-over between oral (30mg/50mg) and IV (3mg/5mg) administration, adaptive trial lasting up to 5 weeks for each patient. PART B is an open-label extension for an additional 52 weeks. Initially planned for 26 weeks, PART B was extended to 52 weeks as a result of requests from patients and caregivers.

The primary endpoint of the Phase 2a trial is to establish safety, tolerability and maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of ANAVEX 2-73, which had shown potential in preclinical studies to prevent, halt and/or reverse the course of the disease. Secondary endpoints include dose response, bioavailability, and exploratory cognitive as well as functional measures using Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) and evaluation of Alzheimers Disease Co-operative Study Activities of Daily Living Inventory (ADCS-ADL), as well as Cogstate test battery and EEG/ERP.

Anavex Life Sciences Corp. is a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of differentiated therapeutics for the treatment of neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, other central nervous system (CNS) diseases, pain and various types of cancer.

Anavex’s lead drug candidate, ANAVEX 2-73, is currently in a Phase 2a clinical trial for Alzheimer’s disease. ANAVEX 2-73 is an orally available drug candidate that targets sigma-1 and muscarinic receptors and successfully completed Phase 1 with a clean safety profile. Preclinical studies demonstrated its potential to halt and/or reverse the course of Alzheimer’s disease. It has also exhibited anticonvulsant, anti-amnesic, neuroprotective and anti-depressant properties in animal models, indicating its potential to treat additional CNS disorders, including epilepsy and others. The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research has awarded Anavex a research grant to develop ANAVEX 2-73 for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease to fully fund a preclinical study, which could justify moving ANAVEX 2-73 into a Parkinson’s disease clinical trial.

Sell Catalyst Pharmaceuticals For a 47% Gain

April 16, 2017: Sell Catalyst Pharmaceuticals for a 47% gain in 60 days and congratulations if you made money on the trade.

January 4, 2017: The popular SeekingAlpha blogger Hawkinvest, with over 5,000 followers, posted a positive article on Catalyst Pharmaceuticals today that got the stock moving higher. Hawkinvest writes

Biotech and healthcare stocks underperformed in 2016 and that means this is a sector that could offer value and rebound potential in 2017. With all of this in mind, I have been looking for “hidden gems” in the biotech sector. I have recently found a couple of very interesting investment opportunities that offer an excellent risk to reward ratio and one of the stocks I am bullish on now is Catalyst Pharmaceuticals, Inc

Catalyst Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, focuses on the development and commercialization of therapies for people with rare debilitating diseases. Its lead product candidate is Firdapse, a proprietary form of amifampridine phosphate, which completed Phase III clinical trial for the treatment of patients with Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic syndrome; and is in small blinded clinical trial to treat Congenital Myasthenic syndromes, as well as is in Phase II/III clinical trial for the treatment of MuSK-antibody positive myasthenia gravis.

Sell Portola Pharmaceuticals For a 45% Win!

April 10, 2017: Sell Portola Pharmaceuticals for a 45% win and congratulations if you made money on the trade.

December 27, 2016: Portola Pharmaceuticals price target raised to $29 from $20 at Credit Suisse, reiterates Neutral rating.

December 26, 2016: Biotechnology firm Portola Pharmaceuticals had revenue of $12.1 million in 2015. For 2016, revenue is on track to more than double to $26.2 million.

December 23, 2016: Portola Pharmaceuticals reports that the FDA accepts NDA for priority review for betrixaban, a prophylaxis of venous thromboembolism (VTE) Granting priority review for betrixaban, an oral, once-daily Factor Xa inhibitor anticoagulant, for extended-duration prophylaxis of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in acute medically ill patients with risk factors for VTE. A priority review shortens the FDA review timeline to six months from the standard review period of 10 months. The application for betrixaban, an FDA-designated Fast Track investigational drug, was deemed sufficiently complete to permit a substantive review and has been given a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) action date of June 24, 2017. Additionally, Portola announced that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) had validated its Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) for betrixaban for extended-duration prophylaxis of VTE in adults with acute medical illness and risk factors for VTE. The EMAs Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) is reviewing the application under a standard 210-day review period.

December 19, 2016: Portola Pharmaceuticals announced it had signed a $50 million loan agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and Pfizer Inc. that provides additional funding toward development and clinical studies of AndexXa (andexanet alfa), an investigational compound that is a potential antidote for Factor Xa inhibitors. Under the terms of the agreement, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer will each loan Portola $25 million. The principal and interest will be repaid primarily through royalties on AndexXa commercial sales. No shares, warrants, options or other equity components were or will be issued in connection with the loan. The non-secured loan does not involve any transfer of patent ownership or licenses.

December 15, 2016: Heavy call activity detected in Portola Pharmaceuticals of 1500 Jan 20 calls traded at $1.15.

Portola Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company developing product candidates that could significantly advance the fields of thrombosis and other hematologic diseases.