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  • Jonathan Poyer

Biotech Index Moves to Market Cap Weighted Style and Healthcare Report Forecasts Spending to 19.7% of GDP by 2032!





The S&P Select Biotech Index is fighting to stay above the 100-day moving average as the weighting paradigm shifted away from the old “equal weight” methodology toward more of a market cap weighted style.



The update drove heightened volatility in smaller cap biotech names. By analogy, size remains all the rage in the broader indices with the top 10 companies in the S&P 500 making up 35% of the market cap but only 23% of earnings showing the skew in valuations.


Healthcare remains in focus for the presidential election cycle with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) releasing their 2024 report which forecasts National Health Expenditures (NHE) to grow at a 5.4% CAGR from 2023 to 2032 ($7.7T in '32). At this rate healthcare will balloon to 19.7% of GDP by 2032 vs 17.6% in 2023 highlighting the strong secular growth opportunity.



Regulatory:


  • Verona Pharma (VRNA) announced FDA approval of first in class PDE4 COPD therapy Ohtuvayre allowing for broad use


  • Apellis Pharmaceuticals (APLS) was issued a negative opinion on the marketing authorization of pegcetacoplan for geographic atrophy (GA). APLS plans to seek re-examination



  • Rocket Pharmaceuticals (RCKT) was issued a CRL from FDA for the BLA for gene therapy KRESLADI wherein additional manufacturing information is required to complete the review

  • PTC Therapeutics (PTCT) was issued a negative opinion from CHMP for the renewal of the conditional marketing authorization of Translarna for the treatment of DMD



  • CDC’s ACIP narrowed recommendations for adult RSV vaccines such that adults 75+ years of age receive a single dose of RSV vaccine and adults 60–74 years of age who are at increased risk of severe RSV disease receive a single dose of RSV vaccine


Clinical:


  • Wave Life Sciences (WVE) rallied >50% pre-market on mHTT reduction data of 44% at 28 weeks in Huntington’s Disease patients, only to close >10% lower on the day after the full slide deck hit. Despite hitting the primary outcome measures, investors raised concerns about secondary NFL data trending in the wrong direction



Capital Markets:


  • Alumis (ALMS) fell ~20% in its IPO debut after raising ~$250 million in a downsized deal priced at the low end of the range



Corporate Updates & Earnings:


  • Cassava Sciences (SAVA) crashed ~40% on news the DOJ indicted embattled scientific advisor and author of foundational simufilam papers Haou-Yan Wang on major fraud, wire fraud and false statements. The board is now conducting an internal investigation



  • Walgreens Boots (WBA) hit lows not seen since 1997 after falling >20% on a quarterly earnings miss, guidance cut and announcement of more store closings

  • Pfizer (PFE) CEO Albert Bourla provided an update on the company's obesity efforts and highlighted three new weight-loss drugs, two GLP-1s and a third using a different mechanism that has yet to be disclosed

  • Coherus BioSciences (CHRS) announced the divestiture of Humira biosimilar YUSIMRY to Hong-Kong-Friend Industrial Co for $40 million in cash



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