Highlights from Technology Investor:
January 2, 2014
A year ago in an interview with The Life Sciences Report, I named "three biotech game-changers" while discussing my approach to investing in micro and small cap technology stocks. As I had explained, "the three companies I will talk about today have all of the characteristics that are favorable to micro-cap investing as I approach it."
Two of the three stocks -- Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO) and Neuralstem (CUR) -- performed extremely well, surging 480% and 167% respectively in 2013.
Most notably, Inovio transformed from relative obscurity into an emerging star in just a few quarters. In fact, Inovio's market value soared 6-fold from below $100 million at the start of 2013 to $600 million.
Now, as I've reported for years, Inovio didn't just spring out of nowhere. The company has dedicated tremendous time and resources to developing its vaccines platform and positioning itself for partners like Roche, which INO teamed up with in September. If fully successful, this agreement could yield in excess of $400 million.
Most telling about this deal was that Inovio sacrificed very little. It managed to keep all of the best ‘gold nuggets' in its pipeline for future agreements, which could easily dwarf the initial Roche contract.
In addition, the Roche deal allows Inovio to devote more cash to developing other promising vaccines, including a pre-clinical one for the rare and often fatal MERS virus and VGX-3100, a treatment for cervical cancer in Phase II trials. Inovio expects to release data from that VGX-3100 trial in the middle of 2014.
Two critical constituencies, big pharma and The Street, have finally bought into the Inovio story and now it's in play among analysts and institutional investors, which have increased their INO holdings by an impressive 22% as compared to last quarter -- adding 4.6 million shares.
Early on I believed Inovio could ultimately attain a market valuation of $1 billion to $2 billion. A year ago this seemed like a wild dream; today INO is well on its way.
To learn about Josh's three biotech game-changers, read the complete interview here.