We share weekly commentaries with investors on stocks in our strategies that have appreciated or dropped more than 15% in a day during the course of the week. We hope you find this commentary useful.
Arcturus (ARCT), a self-amplifying mRNA therapeutics and vaccines company, traded up 68% on Tuesday after announcing that Sanofi (SNY) would be acquiring Translate Bio (TBIO), an mRNA therapeutics company focused on rare diseases. The news that Arcturus struck a deal to manufacture vaccines for new SARS-CoV-2 variants in Singapore and Vietnam also apparently contributed to the upside. After a correction of 23% on Wednesday, Arcturus continued to trade up 20% on Thursday, likely in sympathy with the gene-editing and other genomics stocks.
Editas Medicine (EDIT), a CRISPR-focused company leveraging gene editing to solve rare genetic diseases, traded up 18% on Tuesday, participating in the broad-based rally in gene-editing stocks. As noted above, Moderna’s CEO Stéphane Bancel also announced that he is interested in acquisitions that will add gene-editing technology to Moderna’s platform.
Cerus (CERS), a leading provider of blood-based pathogen inactivation technology and advanced blood products, appreciated 21% on Wednesday after strong quarterly results that delivered record product revenue and higher than expected guidance. In our view, Cerus' newest therapeutic blood product, pathogen-reduced fibrinogen, is poised to drive topline growth for the foreseeable future. Recently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a premium reimbursement policy for fibrinogen that should galvanize its adoption in the United States.
Robinhood Markets (HOOD), a fintech company focused on commission-free investing products, trust, and transparency, experienced significant volatility after an initially lackluster response to its IPO last week, appreciating roughly 50% on Wednesday. Later in the week, a regulatory filing suggested that existing shareholders were free to sell up to 97.9 million shares but the company clarified on Friday that such sales will not take place for a few weeks as they will require SEC approval.
Beam Therapeutics (BEAM), a leader in base-editing genetic medicine, appreciated 15% on Thursday, participating in a broad-based rally in gene-editing stocks. Also contributing to the rally was Moderna's (MRNA) earnings call during which CEO Stéphane Bancel announced that he is interested in acquisitions that will add gene-editing technology to Moderna’s platform.
Dicerna Pharmaceuticals (DRNA), which develops RNA interference and gene silencing therapeutics, dropped 36% on Thursday after announcing that its drug candidate for rare disease hyperoxaluria Nedosiran, met its primary endpoints but delivered inconsistent results for some subtypes of the disease.
Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT), a medical research company developing engineering solutions for rare diseases, traded up 16% Thursday after topping revenue expectations and executing a license agreement for a gene therapy candidate targeting limb-girdle muscular dystrophy.
Zymergen (ZY), a newly public synthetic biology company, closed down 76% on Wednesday and then reversed and rose 75% the following day. Sized at fewer than 40 basis points in our genomics strategy before the drama, Zymergen announced that several of its early-access customers had faced challenges integrating its lead biofilm asset, Hyaline, into their manufacturing processes and that, worse still, the addressable market for Hyaline could be lower than management had expected and could take longer to evolve. In response to this setback, Zymergen’s Board announced that Director Jay Flatley, who had an impactful career at Illumina, had agreed to step into the role of Acting CEO until a turnaround is under way. While our confidence has been reduced in its short-term outlook, we believe that Zymergen’s platform holds deep intrinsic value and that the total addressable market for products produced with synthetic biology is vast, enough so for multiple approaches and models to flourish simultaneously.