E Cassandra Is Silent

Its other lead candidate also for breast cancer and for gastrointestinal disorders, ZW33. This is an antibody carrying a drug, a cytotoxic chemical, which can be directly targeted at cancer cells rather than having to be used against all the patient's cells, as with chemotherapy. It is now in phase I trials. Both products have been given orphan drug status with tax breaks and a right to patents for seven years.

Meanwhile the drug partnerships are also moving to trials with two or even three planned to start this year.

ZYME shares soared early this year after it presented at a JP Morgan conference but it is now at a more reasonable level. The firm has hired an investor relations expert after their former IR from the IPO stopped answering my calls and those of others.

None of the management or the angels, even ones which have left the firm, have sold a single share. Nor have I.

After its further buy Eli Lilly owns over 15.5% of the shares and Celgene over 5%, another validation of ZYME. Johnson & Johnson and a Japanese drug firm joined the majors investing in Zymeworks after the IPO last April. BUY UNDER $10.

Vivian adds: ZYME will report earnings Feb. 28. With three analysts covering it, the consensus estimate is between plus $1.29 and minus $0.72 but the date is only tentative, from Wall Street Horizon. Our biotech maven, Patti, argues that “it has investigational trials in an area flooded with competitors and treatments. If it is proven safe and tolerable it is still years from the market. I doubt they will have resources to proceed and likely will license or pull out more shares to fund—why biotechs nosedive. They have linked their technology to six pharma companies which will then each conduct years of study to see if it can be applies to further research. Its a long way not only from profits but from a viable proof that its approach is worthwhile.”

Negative from a broker up north: ThreeD Capital of Canada is a supporter of ZYME but it is now getting into crypto-currencies. I am  buying all the same. The stock is substantially below the $13 at which it listed last April, at $9.74 Friday.

Roche, RHHBY, will get FDA action on its hemophilia A drug emicizumab on Feb. 23.

Technology

Wal-mart is in talks to buy a 40% stake in Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart, from among others Softbank of Japan, Microsoft, and Hong Kong-listed Tencent. Reuters figures the TCEHY stake may be worth $2.5 billion. Thanks to the Zexit, Naspers' discount to its stake in TCEHY has fallen also because NPSNY, a South African media group, also owns a bit of Flipcart directly as well as a third of the Hong Kong outfit.

Our most recent buy (before Friday) is HOLI. Hollysys Auto Tech gained 1.5%.

Food & Drink

Anhaeuser-Busch InBev rose 1.6% because it called $4.6 mn in 7.75% US$ notes. BUD is Belgian and its stock news is often hard to find under the ABV ticker used outside the USA.

Input Capital Corp, which reported both stock buybacks and insider purchases Thursday, rose 1.53% at the opening Friday.

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Disclosure: None.

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