KICK-ASS

I don’t know if it’s still playing where you are, but it has no swooping . . . and the violence, while extensive, is so cartoonish, and the story so much fun, it didn’t bother me. Not for little kids, to be sure, but kick-ass!

NBIX

This is the stock we added in February to our evolving basket of speculative drug stocks, at $2.60 – as always, to be bought only with money we could truly afford to lose. Happily, it looks as though we may not. The Phase II data released after yesterday’s market close were good. The stock closed at $4.05 in after-hours trading.

So now what? The stock was $70 just four years ago, and it’s not going back there any time soon. But neither would I rush to sell it, either.

Guru opines:

They will sign a partnership and start a Phase III trial this year, finish in 2011 or 2012, so it’s a ways off, but the Phase III should be a lay-up. Very conservative assumption suggests it’s worth $5 now, double that in a year. Could be $20 in 3 years. Maybe sooner.

Partner GSK has a phase II trial of a crf inhibitor in depression out in August. I can’t say the biology makes it completely clear it will work, but there is a reasonably good case. If so, all gravy. Nothing factored into the current stock price for that.

If this were April [when the market was frothy], the stock would gap up 2-3 points tomorrow as everyone raises their rating to BUY [6 of the 7 analysts who follow it have had it at HOLD] and the day traders all pile in, hits 10 within a few weeks. That’s what “should” happen. We’ll see what does happen.

Endometriosis is experienced by 7.5 million women in the US. There are no oral therapies. The only available therapies are deep muscle “depot” shots that must be taken once a month, cause significant pain, cause flare-up of the disease initially, and can cause bones to become brittle and crack. The NBIX product is a once-a-day pill, no monthly doctor’s appointments, no flare-up, no bone destruction, and if you need to reverse the effect for some reason, you just stop taking it. This should become the standard of care when it enters the market. Lupron, one of several competing drugs, had sales last year of $800 million. BIG market.

☞ So I’m holding all mine, with enthusiasm. As to the other stocks in this basket, see March 29 and last October 29. DEPO and DYAX have drifted down a bit. The DNDN puts were a total loss. We doubled our money in INCY and replaced it with DCTH, which has nearly tripled. And NBIX is up 67% as of last night. Overall, I’d say we’re on a roll. Always a bad sign.

$120,000

Florida’s Republican candidate for Governor, Bill McCullom, is currently the state’s Attorney General. In that capacity, it was he who spent $120,000 of taxpayer money to enlist the expertise of George Rekers in his effort to preserve Florida’s ban on gay adoption.

(Unlike every other state in the union, Florida protects unwanted children from adoption by gays or lesbians, no matter how loving, stable, affluent, educated, and enthusiastic they may be.)

‘So what exactly did Florida buy for all that money?’ asks St. Petersburg Times columnist Robyn Blumner. Her whole column resonates, but in especially pertinent part:

. . . In 250 pages of court transcripts, Rekers essentially made one argument over and over. His thesis was that gays (including lesbians) are disproportionately prone to conditions that would “adversely affect the home environment.” The list of woes he cited included depression, suicide attempts, multiple sexual partners, relationship breakups, substance abuse and domestic violence.

From this Rekers concluded that a blanket ban on gay adoption is warranted – even if potential adoptive gay parents are well screened for these conditions – since social workers cannot predict which gay parents might succumb to these problems in the future. . . .

. . . There is one more bit of tragic irony. Rekers is a father of six children, one of them a boy he adopted from foster care – just like Gill wanted to do. I wonder whether Rekers thinks people who hire same-sex prostitutes for sexual favors should be allowed to adopt children. Maybe McCollum should pay him more of our money to find out.

RAND

JK: ‘Libertarianism is a youthful first fling at ideas. Most people read Atlas Shrugged when they are in their teens, about a year before they read The Prophet and two years before they read Catcher in the Rye. Ayn Rand (coincidence? I think not) sweeps you off your adolescent feet, and you begin to dream of being the architect. Then you take a course like Mechanical Drawing or Trigonometry and decide you’d rather do something else . . . ‘maybe I’ll go to medical school.’ Ophthalmology is a nice, tidy practice of medicine. Cleaner, even than dermatology, few emergencies, respected, beneficial, hugely profitable on a per-hour basis. Everybody starts with two eyes, and most people will eventually develop cataracts after first developing astigmatism. Dr. Rand Paul needs to understand, ‘Youth is glorious, but it isn’t a career.’ He’s having a rather protracted adolescence. The good people of Kentucky will put up with integration as long as we keep giving farm and coal subsidies.’

☞ Most people never read Atlas Shrugged at all (I finally got to it just a few years ago) and I think JK’s reference to ‘the architect’ may refer to The Fountainhead. What’s more, as much as libertarianism and Rand’s philosophy seem conjoined, Ayn Rand actually hated libertarians – ‘a monstrous, disgusting bunch of people’ my friend Less tells me she called them – so this may not be all quite as neat as JK has it wrapped up.

But the basic point (if you ask me) is that both Ayn Rand and Rand Paul put too much faith in unfettered capitalism. ‘Survival of the fittest’ works well for the fittest, but may not be the best way to organize a complex modern society.

 

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