Stockwatch: A Turn Of The Biotech Page
This article was originally published in Scrip
In the bad old days before antibiotics and antimicrobial agents, patients only had their immune systems with which to fight infections. An antibacterial antibody response might take over a week to elicit but when the temperature of a patient with a systemic infection finally started to normalize, they could have been said to have turned the page, even if they were not yet out of the woods. There were some signs last week that the biotech fever that started in the summer of 2015 might be breaking.
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Early in 2020, company guidance was that pandemic-related effects would have dissipated in the third quarter. Issues specific to J&J and Roche leave this broad conclusion still up in the air.
Drugs that have failed in clinical studies often come back for another go, making the same mistakes for a new cohort of investors who missed the first failure. The global pandemic is also enabling this for once- or twice-failed drugs.
Batsu is the Japanese term for games that have penalties, unlike those which are just for fun. Seasoned investors are well aware of the risks of drug and vaccine development but many investors new to the sector are just learning of the downsides.