FDA Surprise

I have finally done with my taxes, and we sent pretty checks to Uncle Sam, Uncle Mario, and Uncle De. For the first time our accountant used special forms for seniors filing, and all the paperwork was aimed at my husband, who is not American, rather than me. 

The big news out of China is that its import purchases of copper and iron sagged last month because its export markets are far less strong than earlier this year. The news helps explain why China wants to get people to have more babies. They would replace foreigners in keeping the factories open and the economy growing.  

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Drug dealers

*Today the US FDA surprised many by approving the Biogen drug Aducanumab for treating early Alzheimer's disease. The big gain was not at the troubled US pharma group which rose all of 10 cents but at its Japanese partner in developing the first new treatment in nearly 20 years for the terror disease of oldsters, Eisai. ESALY rose an amazing 52.44% at the opening because it is a full-service drug company in a country with a huge population of seniors. The US firm barely budged but the Japanese did remarkably well. We are still down from our basis with Eisai, so we hang in there regardless of its jump. It presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's virtual congress over the weekend on its liver cancer treatment combo of Lenvima with US Merck's Keytruda, reported Friday. There are at least 100 Alzheimer's trials going on now in the US, but Japan is more careful. However, the odds are high that ESALY will get approvals from the Japanese authorities. It is now up 69.68% and we are in the black from our basis. BIIB is rated underperform by BofA-Merrill, with a flat target price.

*Eli Lilly, which has its own drug for Alzheimer's, rose 1.3% because the FDA may okay it too. LLY.

*Danish Novo Nordisk NVO got FDA approval for its weekly 2.4 mg injections of semaglutide for obese adults with at least on weight-related other risk. 

*Swiss Novartis NVS presented data at the ASCO gathering on its radio-ligand therapy for a metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer treatment called Lu-PSMA 617. The share fell in US trading.

*Fellow Swiss Roche gained 4.25% on its deal with Surface Oncology to work on SRF 888 liver cancer treatment last week. RHHBY.

*However another ASCO presenter, Compugen CGEN of Israel, rose nearly 11% either because of trading yesterday in Tel Aviv, or because of its COM 701 phase, I trial data as a monotherapy or with Bristol-Myers' BMY Opdivo. 

 *TEVA rose 2.6% to $10.67 premarket today, reflecting Tel Aviv Sunday trading. 

*BeiGene ltd of China via the US presented data on its phase III trials of Brukinsa against AbbVie's Imbruvica in treating various lymphomas and leukemia. BGNE.

*Zymeworks opened up but then all these other companies reported good news so it went down 77 US cents. Now it is up 7% again. ZYME.

*UK major Astra-Zeneca AZN dropped because it has an Alzheimer's treatment which competes with aducanumab and because its immunization effects against the "delta variant" of covid-19 which now is showing up in Guangdong Province (north of Hong Kong, the former Canton), formerly called the Indian variant, and also in Britain, is only 33.5% after the 1st jab. 

*Organon & Co, the spinoff from Merck last week, is down over 8% today despite Barron's writing over the weekend about OGN's great potential. It is collecting women's meds and generics MRK wants to stop working on. At some point, I will buy or sell because I have an odd lot. Truist, a bank whose shares I own, rates it buy.

Oil and Autos

*US oil is over $70/bbl. 

*Höegh LNG Holdings Ltd. HMLP successfully completed a NOK 330 mn tap issue under its existing senior unsecured bonds with maturity date 30 January 2025 and ISIN NO0010873755. The tap issue was priced at 97% of par value and the total outstanding amount after the tap issue is NOK 1,300 million. The additional bonds will be issued under a temporary ISIN NO0011021966 until a listing prospectus for the additional bonds has been approved. DNB Markets managed the placement. I exited

Höegh LNG Holdings a week ago over concerns that its parent company, Höegh, will compete against it with LNG fueled charters for shipping the stuff, avoiding filthy bunker fuel. I am in favor of clean energy but like to see the parent company of my holdings staying neutral on its operations, not competing with them. 

*Raizen, the lubricants JV of Cosan CSAN and Shell, awaits approvals from Bolsa regulator CVM for the spinoff which began last week. I think it will take time. 

*Trouble at rival electric vehicle producers like Tesla, which is abandoning one of its Model S Plaid lines completely, boosted NIO stock by 3.55%. It informed the market that its Gemini is not "an entryway EV", but said it will be launched separately in 2022. Low prices are the TSLA hope but perhaps not that of Nio. 

*BP plc lost 0.66% today on news that China is not gaining as much new business as expected. Royal Dutch Shell B lost 0.45%. BP; RDS-B.

*Energy Fuels, UUUU, is presenting tomorrow at the LD Micro XL Hall of Fame virtual conference and its stock is up 3.6% on the news. CEO Mark Chalmers will tell about its existing uranium mining and its hopes for working on associated monazite rare earths found with the nuclear fuel. Its initial separation work on the rare earths will take place somewhere in Europe according to the press release, but later may also be based in Utah. The idea is to not depend on China which currently is way ahead of the pack in rare earths, which are used in electric vehicles and renewable energy systems. 

Tech & Tel

*Nokia gained nearly 2% today. My cellphone is kaput and I was thinking of reviving my old NOK one which probably was better made.

*Mercado Libre of Argentina lost 0.69% today despite Citigroup analysts keeping it a "buy" with a higher TP of $2250. It is now $1316 and change. MELI.

*Korean Coupang lost1.111% today. CPNG

*Naspers NPSNY gained 2.5% today in UK trading and moreover sterling rose as well against the dollar. But the stock fell 2.1% here. 


*Kirkland Lake Gold, KL, got permission from the Toronto Exchange to resume its share buyback of up to 10% of its shares out this week


*Cemex CX and CRH rose on news that takeovers are coming in the sector after a nice bid for US concrete.

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