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  • Jonathan Poyer

Biotech Surging Without M&A News - Short Squeeze and Momentum Traders Moving the Market. XBI Short 50M Shares

Updated: Apr 11

Equity markets remain risk on as AI enthusiasm ratchets higher following another blowout Q and guidance from Nvidia (NVDA). Remarkably, the one-day market cap gain for NVDA on the announcement of $277 billion is greater than the combined market capitalizations of Pfizer (PFE) and Bristol Myers (BMY)!

The last week of February started with the S&P Select Biotech Index rallying for a fourth consecutive day to a new high for the year despite no new M&A and a tick up in interest rates. The move represented the 4th best day of the year and seemed technical in nature as the top end of the recent trading range is tested.

The S&P 500 has now advanced for 15 of the last 17 weeks, which has only happened one other time in the last 50 years (1989).


  • Blueprint Medicines (BPMC) sold US rights for Gavreto (pralsetinib), an approved targeted therapy for the treatment of RET fusion-positive m-NSCLC and thyroid cancer, for $15 million plus a potential additional $102.5 million in milestones. BPMC received the rights to the product back from Roche who previously paid >$700 million for the license

  • RayzeBio (RYZE) deal by Bristol Myers (BMY) closed on 02/26/24

  • Gracell Biotech (GRCL) acquisition by AstraZeneca (AZN) closed on 02/22/24


  • Apellis Pharmaceuticals (APLS) Syfovre was formally rejected by EU's CHMP, denying the marketing authorization


  • Zealand Pharmaceuticals (ZEAL.DC) announced partner Boehringer Ingelheim’s GLP-1/glucagon survodutide improved of metabolic dysfunction-associated steatohepatitis (MASH) versus placebo in a Phase 2 trial [response difference: 64.8% (CI 51.1% - 78.6%), p-value (p<0.0001)]. Non-GLP-1 MASH competitors sold off on the news as the "GLP-1" casualties trade seems to be alive and well

  • Ventyx Biosciences (VTYX) rallied as competitor Nodthera (private) announced publication of preclinical data from studies of a CNS penetrant NLRP3 inhibitor in an obesity mouse model that showed weight loss on par with semaglutide (GLP-1)

Capital Markets:

  • Cogent Biosciences (COGT) breached $7.50 per share where they raised $225 million last week as analysts were more mixed on the anticipated data release

Corporate Updates and Earnings:

  • BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (BCRX) reported 4Q revenues of $93.4 million ahead of the street at $89.8 million. Reiterated 2024 revenue $380-400 million

  • BeiGene (BGNE) Q4 revenue missed $634m vs street at $643m, with expenses ahead. Year on year revenue growth was 74%

  • Amylyx (AMLX) reported a Q4 revenue of $108.4M ahead of the street at $106.5 million. The first full year Relyvrio revenue reached >$300 million

  • BioMarin (BMRN) reported Q4 revenue of $646MM (+11% Q/Q, +20% Y/Y) above the street at $634 million street. Voxzogo was ahead while Roctavian remains slow with only n=2 patients treated in 4Q. 2024 guidance of $2.7 - $2.8b vs prior comments of approaching $3b and street at $2.8b

  • Dynavax Technologies (DVAX) reported Heplisav-B revenues grew 69% year-on-year to $213 million and guided 2024 revenue of $265-280 million

  • Intracellualr Therapies (ITCI) reported >86% revenue growth to $462 million in 2023 and guided 2024 revenue of $645-675 million

  • Harmony Biosciences (HRMY) reported >30% revenue growth to $583 million in 2023 and reiterated 2024 guide for $700-720 million in revenue

  • Exact Sciences (EXAS) 4Q revenue beat estimates $647m vs $638m street. 2024 guide in line

  • United Therapeutics (UTHR) announced a 4Q revenue beat ($615m vs $573 street) and EPS ahead ($4.36 vs $4.19 street). The company announced litigation with FDA intended to obtain a 30 month stay from competitor Liquidia (LQDA)

  • Bausch and Lomb (BLCO) beat FY24 revenue guidance ($4.60B-$4.60B v $4.53B street), following 4Q top/bottom-line beat

  • Teledoc (TDOC) missed on FY24 revenue guide ($2.635B-$2.735B v $2.77B street), following 4Q revenue miss ($660M v $671M street)

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