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Monday, March 15, 2010

Briefs: VNDA, TTNP, CVM

VNDA: Shares of Vanda Pharmaceuticals have been on the move of late after Hapoalim Securities initiated coverage of the company with a 'BUY' rating and issued a price target of $23. Hapoalin also suggested that the company could be targeted for acquisition.

Additionally, Vanda recently announced that the company has received a notice of allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a long acting injectible formulation of the currently marketed oral version of the schizophrenia drug Fanapt.

Fanapt is currently marketed by pharmaceutical powerhouse Novartis through a licensing agreement signed last year, and in a multi-billion dollar anti-psychotic market, sales of the product could ramp up fairly quickly. That would make Hapoalim's price target very reachable in due time.

I personally believe that Novartis will swallow up both Vanda and Titan Pharmaceuticals (TTNP.pk), but if not, then a move to plus-$15 should be in the works for the short to mid term, although it will be sales numbers that dictate how quick that happens.

VNDA continues to be a nice growth story after becoming one of the best rebound plays of 2009 and the possibilities of a Novartis buyout adds to the intrigue of the VNDA stock.

The volatility probably isn't over just yet, so it may be worth picking up a few shares on any dips in price.

Disclosure: No position.

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TTNP.pk: I like Titan Pharmaceuticals once again as a buy for below for two dollars. Like Vanda, I believe that the company could be a takeover target by Novartis because Titan will receive royalties of between eight and ten percent of net Fanapt sales. That's a pretty decent payday, in my opinion, for a small company that also has Propuphine and the ProNeura technology in the pipeline.

Titan also received a grant from the NIH last year that will go towards funding the latest Probuphine Phase III trial.

If Titan is not bought out sooner rather than later, I'd expect a move off the pink sheets fairly quickly as the royalty money starts rolling in and the ProNeura pipeline advances.

Titan was a great 'sell at various points on the way up story' during its rise from a penny last year, but it might be worth picking up a few more shares for under two dollars because it's my opinion that this drop will be a temporary one.

For a company that was all but dead about a year ago, Titan sure looks to be in pretty good shape.

2010 could turn into a milestone year for this company.

Disclosure: VFC is long TTNP.




CVM: In recent news, Cel Sci announced that the company had received a $125,000 payment from Byron Biopharma. Byron owns the rights to market Multikine in South Africa while Cel Sci has additional agreements with Teva Pharmaceuticals of Israel and Orient Europharma of Taiwan to market the product in other countries around the globe.

The bad news for the company so far in 2010 (which just happens to be good news for humanity) is that the Swine Flu hype died down too quickly for the company to fully capitalize on its potential LEAPS treatment for H1N1; that killed any upwards momentum that the stock was building (or had built), but Multikine still remains a potential blockbuster immunotherapeutic treatment for head and neck cancer and the future of this company still looks bright, in my opinion.

Whether averaging down or still averaging up, I think that a buy of CVM at these levels will pay off over the mid to long term, although the Multikine trial is not expected to begin until the summer so a lull in action should be expected, barring any news on another front.

Disclosure: VFC is long CVM.


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