Pharmas Market with Mike Huckman

Feeding At The Swine Flu Trough


Here we go again.

When I was relatively new on this beat I was thrown into covering the bird flu scare. At the time, many experts said it wasn't a question of if, but when it would come to the U.S.

I'm still waiting. And I hope we're all waiting forever.

We went hog wild over the H5N1 story traveling to Geneva (World Health Organization), Basel (Roche's Tamiflu tour), Amsterdam (Crucell's cell-based vaccine-making technology), Birmingham, Alabama (BioCryst's experimental antiviral) and Foster City, California (the Tamiflu inventor at Gilead Sciences.)

Stocks in all sorts of baby biotechs working on anything related to pandemic stuff soared. Most, but not all of them, are still baby biotechs today, if they're even still alive.

Well, guess what?

We saw pops yesterday in a whole basket of biopharma stocks, big and tiny. And I got at least a few emails from PR folks I hadn't heard from since the bird flu days offering me the CEO of this-and-that micro-cap company.

Sure, I've got my hands full right now with Dendreon, but, sorry, I'm not taking the bait this time. At least, not yet.

Dendreon Day

Mind you, I'm not an expert on this stuff, but over the years I've interviewed and developed relationships with people who are.

And many of them have reached out to me over the past couple of days with their opinions on the pig flu.

I've got a sense of deja vu.

I admit I could be totally wrong on this, but I think with quick action plus the benefit of the government and corporate stockpiles of Tamiflu and GlaxoSmithKline's Relenza and public awareness of these previously little-known drugs that this could be nipped in the bud.

We'll see.


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