An eventful week just passed us by.
The NTC fighters in Libya finally caught up to Muammar Khaddafi and made history of the guy. That makes Saddam, Bin Laden and Khaddafi all toast. Who says the world doesn't become a better place every day?
Eyes perked up as well last week when numerous headlines circulated containing the phrase "Lindsay Lohan In Handcuffs." Turns out it wasn't a leaked sex tape, however, just another example of her making a mockery of the legal system.
In politics, another round of Republican debates is in the bags, as the would-bes gathered in Vegas to show each other some more love. The big winners were Obama's campaign managers. They must be loving this stuff. The way the Republican candidates tear each other up and sleeze each other to the American public, Obama's crew can just sit back in their armchairs and watch the Republican candidates do to each other what Obama's guys would otherwise get paid for.
It's pretty sad that Herman Cain is the only guy from the Republican field who has put his cajones on the table with a real plan while Mitt Romney fixes his hair and Rick Perry debates himself in the mirror. It's even sadder that Rick Santorum's new strategy is to somehow get himself mentioned in the same sentence as Herman Cain.
Truth be told, these guys are all pretty weak if the only way to get ahead is to bring the other guy down a notch with negative campaigning.
In sports, Eli Manning didn't blow it last weekend like he did against Seattle when it looked like he was watching reruns of the Andy Griffith Show when he should have been throwing a touchdown pass to win the game.
If the NBA and the players union aren't careful, the whole money-sharing debate isn't going to be an issue because there will be no one left who gives a flip enough to go see a game. There's plenty of other sports options out there that fans won't blink if the teams don't suit up this year.
And lastly, the Texas Rangers are a prime example of what can happen when bailouts work.
Here's some stocks and stories for the coming week...
HGSI: Heavily watched last week after a buyout rumor circulated the Internet and pushed shares of Human Genome Sciences (HGSI) to as high as fifteen dollars at one point, HGSI will be one to watch for the coming week as well with an earnings report coming due on Tuesday.
An encouraging update on Benlysta sales led to a temporary spike in HGSI shares in September, and another demonstration of gaining sales momentum could at least leave shares sustaining their current price territory, if not push them higher.
Of course, the real nugget investors want to hear about is the GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) buyout rumor. Rumors such as this one are a dime a dozen in the sector, but if there is any relevance to this one, then expect another dose of and increased HGSI share price.
Glaxo is already partnered with Human Genome with the lupus-treating Benlysta. Merck (MRK) and Biogen (BIIB) have also been caught up in this buyout rumor, but Glaxo makes the most sense of the three, given the already-established Benlysta relationship.
Should be an exciting week for HGSI.
KERX: Shares of Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (KERX) remained trading at depressed prices for the better part of last week after a mailbag blog was published on a popular stock investing website that contained comments from a Doctor questioning the potential success of KERX's Phase III trial for the anit-cancer agent Perifisone.
While rebounding slightly to close the week, Keryx is going to be one to keep an eye on for not just the coming week, but for the coming months as well, given the lead-up to Zerenex and Perifisone trial results; and given the likely volatility that will be created if the Internet blog wars continue over the prospects of Perifisone.
The recent dip might be a good place to pick up some shares for those expecting a pre-results run - as I do - and for those who stand on the long side of the Perifisone story.
Keryx is also a potential buyout candidate, especially with the lower share price, but it's likely that any acquiring company will like to take a look at the Phase III results before consummating any deal.
Keep an eye on this story. As Friday's four-plus percent price increase shows, the volatility surrounding this stock could be good for trading gains as well as holding for results.
ACTC: Advanced Cell Technology (ACTC), with multiple trials ongoing based on embryonic stem cell technology, is a leader in what could be considered the next generation of medicine, but shares have slipped over the past weeks and we were a given an indication as of why last week.
A filing with the SEC made available last week identified a lawsuit by Alpha Capital Anstalt against Advanced Cell in regards to warrants and convertible promissory notes. As a result of the lawsuit, the company was ordered by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York to hold in escrow 39,514,859 shares of its common stock pending the entry of a preliminary injunction.
While shares had already been sliding when this filing became public, the downward pressure was even more evident after this news became more widely disseminated.
Whether through SEC filings or company-produced updates to investors, the lawsuit is worth keeping an eye on but has little to do with the potential of the technology being produced by ACTC, which could make the current price drop look like an attractive buy for those with a longer term outlook.
Any swift resolution to the court proceedings could also make this one a quick rebound play.
SPPI: Shares of Spectrum Pharmaceuticals enjoyed another solid week, closing at just under nine bucks after a three percent rise during Friday's broad-market rally. The close gives SPPI a near-two-dollar price per share increase since October's open.
The rise in price could be partly contributed to a positive report issued last week regarding the potential for Fusilev sales to continue growing at recent paces, but it's also worth keeping in mind that the coming months will also bring a decision from the FDA regarding the possible removal of the bioscan requirement for the company's other primary treatment, Zevalin.
That milestone could significantly impact the future of the Zevalin revenue stream as the removal of the bioscan will make it more convenient and less costly for Doctors to prescribe.
If the market rebound continues, SPPI could inch higher. The longer term price potential labels this one as another Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ) in-the-making.
Spectrum, with its growing revenue stream and already-approved pipeline is also a merger and/or acquisition candidate.
IMSC: It could be time to start paying attention to the still-obscure Implant Sciences Corp. This company and its technology could be gearing up to start making a splash in the homeland security arena and a recent earnings announcement offered some insight into just how quick the growth could materialize if its lead products start catching on in the mainstream.
The company's Quantum Sniffer™ QS-B220 benchtop explosives and narcotics trace detector has been operationally deployed to various airport around the United States, Asia and South America since it was introduced earlier this year and is just the type of product that could potentially become a staple in airport security around the globe once a large contract or two is landed.
While anticipating a ramp-up of QS-B220 sales, earlier-model explosive detectors continue to pick up steam in the law-enforcement arena, as a report from earlier this month demonstrates. A recent extension of the company's line of credit and its maturity might also be an indication that the company is predicting an imminent uptick in demand for its products and services.
Given the rapidly-growing homeland and airport security sectors around the globe, Implant Sciences could be positioning itself for rapid growth.
Worth keeping an eye on after last week's earnings report and Friday's seven percent price spike.
TTNP: Shares of Titan Pharmaceuticals have rebounded somewhat to close last week over the $1.30 after having slipped to nearly a dollar during the lull between news. Some uncertainty has surrounded this company after positive results were announced for a confirmatory Phase III Probuphine trial, as a direct path to filing with the FDA for approval was not made clear.
The approval path should be made more clear after an upcoming meeting with the FDA, but concerns about the possibility of additional data being needed - and maybe another trial - have kept some investors disinterested in Titan until the story unfolds a little bit more.
Although a Bloomberg report a couple of months ago identified Titan as a potential takeover candidate, nothing has materialized on that front.
Keep a lookout for news regarding the FDA meeting; the outcome of those discussions could determine just how quickly another price splash will materialize for TTNP.
DNDN: Dendreon (DNDN) is back to trading for above the ten dollar mark after hovering below that mark during the market downturn at the end of the third quarter that coincided with some devastating news regarding Provenge sales projections.
Investors will be watching closely and listening intently over the coming weeks for indications that Doctors are prescribing Proveng at increasing rates. The sub-$10 prices of DNDN might turn out to have been a steal if the Provenge sales demonstrate a reversal.
AMPE: Shares of Ampio have rebounded after a recent slide, and the full potential of this company continues to be uncovered as a 'proof of concept' trial was announced last week for Danazol in the treatment of Allergic Rhinitis.
Ampio has already repositioned Danazol to treat diabetic macular edema (DME) as the drug Optina. with trial results on that front expected within months. This proof-of-concept just broadens its repositioned potential.
More interest is being drawn to this stock with multiple trials and other catalysts consistently meeting frution.
ABPI: A low-volumed dip on Friday took shares of Accentia Biopharmaceuticals (ABPI) down 12%, back into the thirty cent range where it - and subsidiary Biovest International (BVTI) - have been hanging out as the regulatory path for approval of BiovaxID, Biovest's cancer immunotherapy treatment for non-Hodgkins lymphoma is finalized.
Conversely, BVTI was up by 17% on Friday on decent volume.
Updates and meetings regarding the approval path should be forthcoming during the coming months, so ABPI and BVTI might both be worth a speculative investment for those looking for another potential 'cancer immunotherapy' run.
Currently, ABPI's market cap is about half that of BVTI, possibly making it a more attractive buy at the current prices.
APRI: The market rebound has been kind to shares of Apricus Biosciences (APRI), as shares are back to trading in the mid four dollar range after having slipped along with the broad market. The company has announced some encouraging updates over the past few months, but a partner for the erectile dysfunciton drug Vitaros, which is approved in Canada, has yet to materialize.
Still a story worth watching.
CELH: Still far from being called a rebounding story, the earnings report from last quarter will be worth keeping an eye on for Celsius Holdings. The trimmed expenses and consistent revenue of the past couple of quarters might have been enough of a stabilizing force to position CELH for short and long term growth once again. Money will be a concern for the immediate future, but increasing volume (from relatively no volume) might be an indicator that there is some interest brewing again.
AGEN: The bump enjoyed by shares of Agenus (AGEN) on the news that GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) malaria vaccine - which contains AGEN's vaccine adjuvant QS-21 - demonstrated encouraging results in an ongoing Phase III trial were short-lived and shares are quickly returning to previously-traded levels. Agenus is also developing Prophage (formerly Oncophage) for the treatment of glioma and is worth a look as a speculative 'cancer immunotherapy' buy.
Disclosure: Long KERX, HGSI, ACTC, IMSC, TTNP, DNDN, AMPE, CELH.