Why Is Biotech Down and Will It Stay That Way?

Fortune magazine reported that biotech stocks have fallen 25 percent this year, and with numbers that substantial, there have to be several causes at play. So why is biotech down — and more importantly, do the experts believe it can recover?

When presidential candidate Hillary Clinton vowed to fight price gouging in the drug market, biotech stocks dropped around the globe. But one tweet can’t be held responsible for this widely struggling market. Fortune magazine reported that biotech stocks have fallen 25 percent this year, and with numbers that substantial, there have to be other causes at play.
So why is biotech down —and more importantly, do the experts believe it can recover?

Negative media coverage

A series of scandals, like those involving Turing or Valeant (NYSE:VRX), have certainly had a hand in biotech’s reported downward trend. Both of these drug companies had a monopoly on key, life-saving medications, whose costs they promptly hiked.
Public outrage followed.
“Drug pricing is a big black box, so it’s hard for investors to model that into these stocks,” biotech analyst Hartaj Singh told CNBC. He concluded that, “This being an election year, a lot of investors have figured it’s better to take some money off the table.”
But price gouging isn’t unique to the biotech or pharmaceutical industry. We recently saw one medical device company, Mylan (NASDAQ:MYL), raise the cost of its EpiPen, for example.
So while negative media coverage has undoubtedly had a hand in biotech’s run of bad luck, it’s simplistic to label that the whole story.

A lack of news

In fact, some analysts say it was the lack of news that led to the dive. “There was a real lack of provocative news out of the JPM [Healthcare Investing] conference,” Jake King declared in this Forbes article, labelling biotech “a space where investors focus myopically on the next data point or regulatory decision.”
He went on to note the bluebird bio (NASDAQ:BLUE) fell 20 percent after telling investors that results from gene therapy trials wouldn’t be available until year-end.
No news, it would seem, is bad news—at least in biotech.

Poor clinical trial results

But as a matter of fact, there was actual bad news coming.
Writing for The Motley Fool just a month later, George Budwell argued that disappointing clinical trial results from several biotech companies, like Alkermes (NASDAQ:ALKS) or Sarepta Therapeutics (NASDAQ:SRPT) contributed to the industry’s weaker start to 2016.
“These two disappointing events seemingly triggered a broader sell-off among nearly all clinical-stage biotechs, especially those closing in on a clinical or regulatory update,” Budwell suggested.

Part of the natural cycle

The simplest answer as to why biotech is down might just be this: a drop was long overdue. Fortune noted that prior to this plummet, biotech enjoyed “a remarkable five-year bull run, which has been the greatest in the industry’s history.”
Indeed, several experts have suggested that after such great success, a lull was inevitable.

An optimistic outlook

But that doesn’t mean biotech won’t be bullish again—at least according to some analysts. Robert Bombace, a portfolio manager at Frost Investment Advisors, sees good things ahead for the industry, in terms of product development: we’re “going from the Model T stage to the space-shuttle stage,” he told Investor’s Business Daily.
Meanwhile, the prospect of biotech takeovers is promising to some investors. “A lot of assets have gotten very cheap. This could kick-start mergers and acquisitions,” Mindy Perry, a portfolio manager for Manulife Asset Management, told MarketWatch.
And of course, the lower cost of biotech stocks might also make them appealing to investors going forward.
Bottom line? While biotech may have taken a blow in recent months, it’s too early to count it out.
Don’t forget to follow us @INN_LifeScience for real-time news updates.
Securities Disclosure: I, Chelsea Pratt, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY)
Class: Investors who received Contingent Value Rights ("CVRs") (BMY.RT) in exchange for their shares of Celgene Corporation (CELG) pursuant to Bristol-Myers' acquisition of Celgene on November 20, 2019
Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline: December 6, 2021
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Kahn Swick & Foti, LLC and KSF partner, former Attorney General of Louisiana, Charles C. Foti, Jr., remind investors of pending deadlines in the following securities class action lawsuitsBristol-Myers Squibb Company Class: Investors who received Contingent Value Rights in exchange for their shares of Celgene Corporation pursuant to Bristol-Myers' acquisition of Celgene on November 20, 2019Lead Plaintiff Motion ...

Kahn Swick & Foti, LLC ("KSF") and KSF partner, former Attorney General of Louisiana, Charles C. Foti, Jr., remind investors of pending deadlines in the following securities class action lawsuits

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY)

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ClaimsFiler, a FREE shareholder information service, reminds investors of pending deadlines in the following securities class action lawsuits: Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Class: Investors who received Contingent Value Rights in exchange for their shares of Celgene Corporation pursuant to Bristol-Myers’ acquisition of Celgene on November 20, 2019 Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline: December 6, 2021 MISLEADING ...

ClaimsFiler, a FREE shareholder information service, reminds investors of pending deadlines in the following securities class action lawsuits:

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY)
Class: Investors who received Contingent Value Rights ("CVRs") (BMY.RT) in exchange for their shares of Celgene Corporation (CELG) pursuant to Bristol-Myers' acquisition of Celgene on November 20, 2019
Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline: December 6, 2021
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Catch up and get informed with this week's content highlights from Charlotte McLeod, our editorial director.

Top Stories This Week: Powell Gets Fed Nomination, Using Gold in a Market Correction youtu.be

We're back after a break last week with quite a bit to cover in the gold space.

After running up past the US$1,860 per ounce mark midway through November, the yellow metal has taken a tumble. At the time of this writing on Friday (November 26) afternoon, it was sitting just under US$1,790.

Gold's losses this week have been attributed to elements like a stronger US dollar and better Treasury yields, although Jerome Powell's US Federal Reserve chair renomination has pulled other factors into play — some market watchers believe he may move to taper and raise interest rates faster than anticipated.


If the Fed follows its previously laid out timeline for tapering, it will wrap up in mid-2022; the central bank has said it won't raise rates until after that. It has also emphasized that its roadmap may change if necessary.

Looking at the larger picture for gold, I heard recently from Nick Barisheff of BMG Group, who believes the stock market is due for a major correction.

"The market is due for a major correction. What will cause it and when it will happen is anybody's guess — it could be tomorrow, it could be six months from now" — Nick Barisheff, BMG Group

It's impossible to know when this correction will happen, but Nick emphasized the importance of acting before it's too late. He pointed out that investors are typically slow to get out of the market once a crash actually begins — they wait for a turnaround, and by the time it's clear there won't be one, they've experienced big losses.

In his opinion, the solution is to get out of the stock market early and transfer money into gold.

Here's how Nick explained it:

"Instead of taking your money off the table and going into cash … you go to gold (because cash is devaluing daily). Gold will at least hold its own and probably appreciate … so by sitting it out in gold you can wait until the market finishes correcting and then buy back in" — Nick Barisheff, BMG Group

With gold's future in mind, we asked our Twitter followers this week what price they think the metal will be at the end of 2021. By the time the poll closed, most respondents had voted for the US$1,800 to US$1,900 range.

We'll be asking another question on Twitter next week, so make sure to follow us @INN_Resource or follow me @Charlotte_McL to share your thoughts.

Finally, in the cannabis space, INN's Bryan Mc Govern spoke with Dan Ahrens of AdvisorShares to get his thoughts on 2021 trends and what's ahead in 2022.

Dan was candid, and said if he had to choose one word to describe the cannabis market in 2021, it would be "painful." Like many others, he's been disappointed in the industry's performance — while positivity initially ran high due to excitement about potential federal changes in the US, ultimately progress has been slow.

"Cannabis started with a big run-up in January and February ... and things dragged from there" — Dan Ahrens, AdvisorShares

Still, Dan has hope for 2022 and said it will be a "huge year" for cannabis. He believes US reforms will come sooner rather than later, and in his opinion those widely anticipated changes will bring a wave of M&A activity.

Specifically, he expects to see alcohol, tobacco and other consumer packaged goods companies making deals with cannabis players, not just cannabis entities doing transactions with each other.

"Those big alcohol companies, tobacco companies, other consumer packaged goods product companies — they're waiting. They're waiting on the US" — Dan Ahrens, AdvisorShares

Want more YouTube content? Check out our YouTube playlist At Home With INN, which features interviews with experts in the resource space. If there's someone you'd like to see us interview, please send an email to cmcleod@investingnews.com.

And don't forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.

cannabis plant layered with German flag graphic
Dmytro Tyshchenko / Shutterstock

Catch up on some of the biggest news of the week for the cannabis investment world.

Three political parties have formed a coalition in Germany, leading to a new government, and it has promised cannabis reform in the European nation.

Meanwhile, a popular cannabis retailer confirmed consumers will now find its products available for delivery on the Uber Eats mobile application in Ontario.

Keep reading to find out more cannabis highlights from the past five days.


Coalition of parties promises forward-looking cannabis policy

Germany, a country with comprehensive and elaborate medicinal rules for cannabis, is in a time of transition as a new government is set to begin to take over after 16 years of Angela Merkel.

Olaf Scholz, the proposed next chancellor of Germany, leads a three party coalition that will become the country's governing body. As part of its promises, talk of adult-use cannabis regulation has now gained even more momentum. A report from MJBizDaily quotes a German policy document that shows the coalition's stance:

"We are introducing the controlled distribution of cannabis to adults for consumption purposes in licensed shops. This controls the quality, prevents the transfer of contaminated substances and guarantees the protection of minors."

However, despite the promise and excitement, it remains to be seen how these ideas will be applied since no formal regulations have been drafted or approved yet.

Canadian cannabis retailer partners with popular delivery app

Tokyo Smoke, a cannabis retail operator in Canada owned by Canopy Growth (NASDAQ:CGC,TSX:WEED), announced a collaboration agreement with Uber Canada (NYSE:UBER) whereby cannabis consumers will be able to use the Uber Eats app to order products before they visit stores.

While the app won't let consumers get cannabis delivered to them, this new method opens the doors to more dynamic ways of buying cannabis.

"As a market leader in innovation and a platform used by so many Canadians, we believe this is the ideal next offering that can be done safely and conveniently on the Uber Eats app," Mark Hillard, vice president of operations with Tokyo Smoke, said in a press release.

A report from the Canadian Press indicates Ontario is considering allowing dispensaries to have delivery and pickup options made available to consumers permanently. The province allowed some of these purchasing options at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but then removed them.

Lola Kassim, general manager of Uber Eats Canada, said this new end-to-end experience will provide consumers with responsible access to legal cannabis products.

Cannabis company news

  • Organigram Holdings (NASDAQ:OGI,TSX:OGI) issued financial results for its Q4 2021 period. In its report, the company notes a net loss of C$26 million despite a 22 percent uptick in net revenue to C$24.9 million. Beena Goldenberg, the newly appointed CEO of the firm, is encouraged by the market share position earned by the company, which said it became the fourth biggest producer in Canada during the reporting period.
  • Halo Collective (NEO:HALO,OTCQB:HCANF) confirmed the decision for Akanda, its spinoff company focused on international cannabis opportunities, to begin trading on a US exchange. "The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined," the company told investors in a press release.
  • High Tide (NASDAQ:HITI,TSXV:HITI) announced the acquisition of 80 percent of NuLeaf Naturals, a CBD product wellness developer, for an estimated US$31.24 million. The deal includes a three year option clause for High Tide to complete a total acquisition. "As international markets open up and as export regulations evolve, NuLeaf's cGMP-certified facility positions us to take advantage of the global CBD business opportunity," Raj Grover, president and CEO of High Tide, said.
  • Humble & Fume (CSE:HMBL,OTC Pink:HUMBF) released the financial report for its first 2022 fiscal quarter to shareholders and the market. "As the legal cannabis market in North America continues to mature, Humble remains agile and focused on providing a leading solution for brands to scale quickly and retailers to focus on their customers," Joel Toguri, CEO of Humble, said.

Don't forget to follow us @INN_Cannabis for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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