What are we doing to our fragile planet? Paving it, deforesting it, polluting its oceans, extinguishing its species – in part because our own species has exploded, from a global population of 2.5 billion when I was born to nearly 7 billion today. Too many people living too heavily on the land with too little regulation. The catastrophe in the Gulf is a catastrophe.

DNDN

Trond Hildahl: “You wrote: ‘Provenge – which is projected to cost $100,000 a year and said to add 4 months to a late-stage prostate cancer patient’s life – can now, at last be marketed.’ It was a 4.1 month improvement in median survival, not average. Half the patients taking Provenge lived longer than 25.8 months, and the numbers keep looking better the further out you go (obviously only to a point – in the long run we’re all dead). It’ll cost $93,000 one time, not annually. And those taking it, may then not need all the other expensive chemo-side-effect fighting drugs that tax our healthcare system.”

☞ I misunderstood the cost. Thanks for the correction.

M.D. (who is an MD): “I have been following your thread on DNDN puts, waiting for the moment to buy. (As I made a 720% gain on your NTMD puts, it is money that I never had, so ‘I can truly afford to lose!’). A $100,000 drug/placebo that will prolong the painful death of prostate cancer won’t take off. I am buying June and September $55 puts. How about you??”

☞ Well, if I had prostate cancer and there were a widely accepted view that my life would be extended (and maybe I’d be one of the lucky ones who did better than the 4-month median, and maybe in the meantime some other breakthrough would come along) . . . and if I could afford it (or the insurance company would pay for it) . . . you can bet it would take off with ME.

Still, it’s a complicated manufacturing procedure that involves a lot of logistics, and it will take some time for their capacity to grow . . . and maybe more promising therapies will appear on the horizon that could dampen investor enthusiasm, or maybe they will somehow encounter tougher price push-back from insurers than is now expected . . . I really don’t know enough to have any opinion on either the short-term price of the stock (which could certainly sell off with profit-taking) or the long-ish term (as defined by the furtherest-out LEAP, January 2012).

If there were 7-year LEAP puts, which of course there are not, and if they were reasonably priced, they might make an interesting bet, because my guru may be proven right a few years from now. But for now, I will just hope he’s wrong and that Provenge works.

THE GAY REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE

You’ve got to admire the gumption.

GAY DOG TURNED AWAY FROM AUSTRALIAN RESTAURANT

No – really.

IRON ORE

“Please go to rochebay.gi,” writes the Borealis press shop. “The front page of the Web site shows the results of the Government work last summer.”

 

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