Pharmas Market with Mike Huckman

Genentech: Top O The Mornin' This St. Patty's Day

This St. Patrick's Day morning several analysts are out with their official takes on Genentech's investor meeting last Friday and of the half dozen or so I've seen so far, I'd say the reaction is definitely mixed.

I also wanted to throw in a few more notable quotables from CEO Art Levinson at the Friday presentation. (And the video clip below is my interview with company CFO David Ebersman.)

On the controversy over using Avastin instead of Lucentis for adult-onset blindness: "They are not the same drugs. It has nothing to do with the price (Avastin costs a fraction of Lucentis), it has to do with our sense of the science. Lucentis is arguably one of the best drugs ever invented in biotech," he said.

On the possibility of DNA using its $6 billion in cash to buy more companies: "I'm already getting a pretty healthy number of calls from CEOs of $300 million to $500 million companies asking 'How about we enter into a strategic relationship?' " Levinson added if the economy continues to sputter over the next six to 18 months he might consider doing more M and A.

If you're among the thousands sending resumes to or interviewing at Genentech don't ask about the stock options. "We don't wanna hire people who are primarily interested in getting rich," Levinson said.

And he even got a little cocky when talking about how the company has grown to 11,300 people. "Unless you just goof it up, size should be an advantage. I wouldn't wanna be a competitor to us. We're tough to compete with," Levinson said.

That should give you a pretty good sense of this CEO's refreshing outspokenness and why I wish the supposedly camera-shy Levinson would do a TV interview. That'd call for a pint of Guinness to celebrate. Erin go bragh.

Genentech Analyst Meeting

Questions?  Comments?