ASH and others

Investors' top names and milestones in 4Q16

Cancer and hematology companies are likely to garner the most headlines in 4Q16 thanks to ESMO in October and ASH in December, but some investors also are branching out to events that typically receive less coverage. For example, at least one buysider thinks there could be important inflection points at the World Muscle Society meeting that kicks off Wednesday.

Other investors expect to find value by seeking out companies working in diseases such as glaucoma and migraine, where innovations have been few and far between, or by taking another look at markets like HCV or hereditary angioedema that, according to conventional wisdom, offer little commercial upside.

In all, the fourth quarter offers no fewer than 20 Phase III data events and 15 PDUFA dates (see "4Q Milestones," page 10).

A pharma milestone is likely to have the most pronounced effect on the biotech sector this quarter, namely Phase III results for Eli Lilly and Co.'s solanezumab (LY2062430) to treat mild Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Buysiders contacted by BioCentury were not buying Lilly ahead of the data event, but all expect the AD results to have a sector-moving effect.

Their focal point in 4Q, as usual, will be the American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting that runs Dec. 3-6 in San Diego, Calif.

"ASH is going to be tremendous," said Sven Borho of OrbiMed Advisors.

Abstracts will be available online the morning of Nov. 3, and late-breakers come out Nov. 21.

Brad Loncar of the Loncar Fund said he'll be scouring the conference for news related to human TNF receptor superfamily member 17 (BCMA; TNFRSF17; CD269). "BCMA is a catalyst because everyone is waiting for another good cellular therapy target besides CD19," he said.

He's hoping to

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