Biotech Is Hot But Here’s One Markets Just Missed: MabVax Therapeutics Holdings

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The biotech space has picked up some momentum on the back of a Democratic miss in the US elections, and there's a large amount of speculative capital returning to the sector that had previously withdrawn. Sentiment shifted to risk off in anticipation of a Democratic-driven reform in pricing and development practices in the industry, and now that the potential for scrutiny is reduced, companies at both ends of biotech are benefiting.

What just happened with PhaseRx Inc (NASDAQ:PZRX) is a perfect example.

The company is a one of those on-the-radar juniors. That is, it's a tiny junior right now, but its lead asset has been on the watch list of a number of a large number of investors for the better part of the last half decade. It's got some pedigree leadership – Dr. Stephen Gillis, Managing Director of industry-renowned pharmaceutical fund Arch Venture Partners, is Chairman – and its pipeline is promising, but very early stage. The risk inferred by this latter point dominates its valuation, but the promise of the asset and the quality of the leadership means investors are waiting to pull the trigger on a speculative position as and when news or data hits. News just hit (the company announced that its lead liver disease asset, PRX-OTC, picked up Orphan Designation from the FDA) and the company rocketed as the just-mentioned in-waiting investors pulled their triggers.

There's another company that fits into the on-the-radar juniors category, and that has just put out some news. However, unlike PhaseRX, as yet, it hasn’t revalued to accommodate the update.

The company is MabVax Therapeutics Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:MBVX).

MabVax is a junior oncology company, developing treatments in a pancreatic cancer target indication. The company's assets are based on monoclonal antibodies, and derive from a unique partnership that MabVax has with the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC).

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Disclosure: I do not own shares in any of ...

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