Leo Sun

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  • What Do These Three Retailers Reveal About the U.S. Economy?

    By Leo Sun - August 19, 2013 | Tickers: M, JWN, WMT

    Retail stocks fell last week, after weak quarterly results from Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT), Macy’s (NYSE: M) and Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN) raised serious concerns regarding the health of the U.S. economy. Consumer sentiment across the country also fell in August from a six-year high, dropping from 85.1 last month to 80.0. Analysts on average had expected a reading of 85.5.

    That big miss, backed by poor more »

  • Understanding The Massive Market Potential of Monoclonal Antibodies

    By Leo Sun - August 19, 2013 | Tickers: ABBV, LLY, JNJ, RHHBY

    Over the past several years, monoclonal antibodies have revolutionized cancer treatments. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced molecules which mimic naturally produced antibodies, forming the foundation of cutting edge oncology treatments, such as antibody drug conjugates (ADCs), biologics, and immunotherapy, which all aim to reduce or eliminate the use of traditional chemotherapy.

    Monoclonal antibodies, which are administered intravenously, have a wide variety of applications, including cancer cell marking, growth signal blocking, the more »

  • Could This DMD Treatment Become a Blockbuster Drug?

    By Leo Sun - August 17, 2013 | Tickers: GSK, RNA, PTCT, SRPT

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a muscle-wasting disease caused by a genetic mutation in the dystrophin gene, the largest gene on the X chromosome, which affects one in every 2,400 male births. Muscle weakness in DMD patients generally spreads from the legs to the pelvis, eventually reaching the arms, neck and other areas, confining most patients to a wheelchair by age 12 and resulting in a maximum lifespan of more »

  • This Biotech’s Single Egg Will Never Hatch

    By Leo Sun - August 16, 2013 | Tickers: DNDN, JNJ, MDVN

    Shares of Dendreon (NASDAQ: DNDN) have taken a beating over the past month, falling more than 30% over the past week after sales of its prostate cancer therapy Provenge fell short of analyst estimates. Dendreon’s decline illustrates a classic dilemma in biotech investing -- what happens when a company only has a single egg in its basket, and that egg fails to hatch?

    The single egg cracks

    Dendreon only has more »

  • Why Did These Three Cancer Treatment Stocks Rally?

    By Leo Sun - August 16, 2013 | Tickers: IMGN, INSY, NLNK

    Three smaller cancer treatment biotechs -- NewLink Genetics (NASDAQ: NLNK), ImmunoGen (NASDAQ: IMGN) and Insys Therapeutics (NASDAQ: INSY) -- recently rallied, thanks to fresh investor interest in their technologies. These three companies are all working on innovative ways to revolutionize cancer treatments, and could experience considerable upside growth if their pipeline treatments are approved.

    Could immunotherapy replace chemotherapy?

    NewLink Genetics focuses on two main platforms -- HyperAcute immunotherapy and IDO pathway inhibitors.

    The more »

  • Which Of These Smaller Companies Could Roche Buy?

    By Leo Sun - August 16, 2013 | Tickers: ALXN, CLDX, IMUC, IMMU, RHHBY

    Over this past year, the oncology treatment industry has been a hotbed of acquisition rumors, which caused analysts and investors to endlessly speculate on which companies will be swallowed up next by the larger fish in the sea. In a previous article, I visited the eye of the storm: Onyx Pharmaceuticals, which put itself on sale after a failed $8.7 billion buyout attempt from Amgen. Amgen is reportedly still more »

  • Is This New Lung Cancer Treatment a Game Changer?

    By Leo Sun - August 16, 2013 | Tickers: LLY, PFE, RHHBY

    Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY) rallied on Aug. 13 after the pharmaceutical giant announced that its Phase III trial for a lung cancer treatment had succeeded in increasing the overall survival rate of patients. Analysts immediately speculated that this new treatment could become a blockbuster drug, possibly softening the blow from the upcoming patent expiration of Lilly’s best-selling product, Cymbalta.

    Is this unexpected victory reason to pick up shares of more »

  • A Closer Look at 3 Players in Diabetes Treatments

    By Leo Sun - August 16, 2013 | Tickers: MNKD, NVO, OSIR

    Two niche players in diabetes treatments -- Osiris Therapeutics (NASDAQ: OSIR) and MannKind (NASDAQ: MNKD) -- rallied strongly recently, after the two companies announced positive study results regarding their flagship products. Osiris, which uses stem cell treatments for bone and skin grafts, and MannKind, which is the last major company dedicated to producing inhalable insulin, are closely watched by biotech investors since an FDA approval would grant both companies instant monopolies in more »

  • Is This Healthcare Stock Underrated?

    By Leo Sun - August 16, 2013 | Tickers: ELN, GSK, JNJ, PRGO, TEVA

    Shares of Perrigo Company (NYSE: PRGO), one of the world’s largest healthcare suppliers, slid with the broader market on August 15, after the company reported fourth quarter earnings that topped analyst estimates but missed revenue forecasts. Over the past month, Perrigo has drawn a lot of criticism for its $8.6 billion takeover of Irish pharmaceutical Elan Corporation (NYSE: ELN), which redcued its corporate tax rate by moving its more »

  • A Closer Look at the Controversial Market Growth of ADHD Treatments

    By Leo Sun - August 16, 2013 | Tickers: LLY, NVS, SHPG

    The existence of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) has been a hot button topic since the 1970s. On one hand, there are scientists who believe in treating it as a neurological disorder with pharmaceuticals, and on the other hand, there are parents, teachers and administrators who believe that ADHD is a behavioral, rather than psychological, issue. Accusations of kickback-induced over-prescriptions of ADHD medications, for both approved and off-label purposes more »

  • Which of These Biotechs Can Beat the Bird Flu?

    By Leo Sun - August 15, 2013 | Tickers: BOTA, GILD, GSK, RHHBY, SNY

    The H7N9 bird flu epidemic, which recently claimed its 44th victim in China, has had a widespread impact across the markets, ravaging the airline, hospitality and restaurant sectors in particular. Since the end of March, the Chinese government reported 134 new cases of N7N9, with a single overseas case reported in Taiwan.

    H7N9 is more lethal than its predecessor, H5N1, which claimed more than 360 lives over the past decade more »

  • A Closer Look at Three Companies Focusing on Myelofibrosis Treatments

    By Leo Sun - August 15, 2013 | Tickers: GERN, INCY, NVS

    Myelofibrosis, a type of chronic leukemia, has been gaining attention among biotech investors recently due to the scarcity of proper treatments. There is currently only one approved treatment on the market, co-developed by Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ: INCY) and Novartis (NYSE: NVS), and an experimental one from Geron Corporation (NASDAQ: GERN). Let’s take a closer look at what myelofibrosis is and the potential future sales of its sparse treatments.

    What more »

  • An All-In Bet on a Game-Changing Diabetes Treatment

    By Leo Sun - August 14, 2013 | Tickers: JNJ, MNKD, MRK, PFE

    Note: This article has been amended to correct the spelling of Afrezza. Motley Fool apologizes for the error.

    In the biotech industry, there are generally two kinds of companies -- those that have established top and bottom line growth from approved products, and those that have pipelines of experimental treatments with a high potential for growth. Conservative investors favor the former, which include well-known companies like Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), Merck (NYSE: MRKmore »)

  • New Weight Loss Treatments Could Boost Sales for These 3 Biotechs

    By Leo Sun - August 13, 2013 | Tickers: ARNA, OREX, VVUS

    Arena Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ARNA) is a controversial stock among biotech investors. The bulls believe that increasing rates of global obesity will inevitably trigger more sales of its new weight loss drug, Belviq, which was approved by the FDA last June. However, the bears believe that lingering safety concerns regarding Belviq and the company’s insistence on combining the treatment with other medications could cause problems down the road.

    Over the more »

  • A Winner and 2 Losers in the Battle Over Multiple Sclerosis Treatments

    By Leo Sun - August 13, 2013 | Tickers: BIIB, NVS, TEVA

    There are several major players engaged in multiple sclerosis (MS) treatments. Orally administered treatments have been rapidly replacing older, interferon-based injections, and all eyes were on Biogen Idec’s (NASDAQ: BIIB) newest oral MS treatment, Tecfidera, which was launched in April. At the time, Biogen hadn’t reported its first quarter of Tecfidera sales yet, and investors were still waiting to see if Tecfidera would be the industry changing drug more »

  • Is This Biotech Stock Worth Buying After a Massive Post-IPO Surge?

    By Leo Sun - August 13, 2013 | Tickers: LLY, XON, ZIOP

    Synthetic biology startup Intrexon (NYSE: XON) surged 55% after its eagerly anticipated IPO hit the market on August 8. The company, which was founded by famed biotech company developer Randal J. “RJ” Kirk, raised $160 million from its initial offering of 10 million shares priced at $16 each.

    However, Intrexon doesn’t have any approved products on the market, and its revenue completely comes from its nine exclusive channel collaboration more »

  • Can These 2 Companies Grow in the Shadow of Google and Facebook?

    By Leo Sun - August 12, 2013 | Tickers: FB, GOOG, GRPN, YELP

    It wasn’t that long ago when all hope seemed lost for daily deals site Groupon (NASDAQ: GRPN) and local recommendations site Yelp (NYSE: YELP). Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) had introduced new features that threatened to undermine their very existence. Google integrated its “Places” feature directly into Google Maps, and introduced a Groupon-like daily deals service, Google Offers. Not to be left behind by its nemesis, Facebook more »

  • Why Are These 3 Spinal Treatment Companies Making Headlines?

    By Leo Sun - August 12, 2013 | Tickers: NUVA, OFIX, SYK, ZMH

    It’s been a busy, chaotic two weeks in the spinal and orthopedic devices market. Three major companies -- Stryker (NYSE: SYK), NuVasive (NASDAQ: NUVA), and Orthofix (NASDAQ: OFIX) -- recently made headlines for a myriad of reasons including FDA approvals, accusations of falsified Medicare and Medicaid claims, and an embarrassing restatement of past revenue. Let’s take a look at how these headlines are currently affecting these three stocks that have more »

  • This Media Company Is Leaner and Meaner Than Ever

    By Leo Sun - August 10, 2013 | Tickers: TWX, FOX, DIS

    Slimming down its business and focusing on its core competencies paid off for media giant Time Warner (NYSE: TWX), which recently reported strong second-quarter earnings that surpassed analyst estimates. The company’s renewed focus on strengthening its television businesses, which currently account for 70% of its operating income, and the favorable box office performance of its major film releases boosted its top and bottom line.

    However, considering that the stock more »

  • Should You Stick With This Teen Apparel Retailer?

    By Leo Sun - August 8, 2013 | Tickers: ANF, ARO, AEO, GPS

    American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE: AEO) plunged recently after the teen apparel retailer reported a sour second-quarter forecast that fell woefully short of analyst expectations. American Eagle’s weak earnings are a dire warning for the rest of the teen apparel industry, since the company had fared slightly better than its troubled peers, such as Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF) and Aeropostale (NYSE: ARO), over the past year. Should investors stick with more »

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