Tuesday, June 9, 2009


When last we looked at SIGA (which I first recommended at $2.92) the stock was trading at $7. It's now at $8.50, though its price has barely moved in response to two bits of news from yesterday:

1. Dr. Rose, the CEO, mentioned at a conference (listen to audio) that ST-669, SIGA's broad-spectrum antiviral candidate, has shown "activity" against HIV. That is, of course, a long way from a cure (this drug is just at the beginning of its development cycle). But it's also shown activity against ten other major virus families (detailed news is thin, but word is they're aiming it at Lassa Fever, Rift Valley Fever, hepatitis, hantavirus, Ebola, leukemia, polio, and the common cold, in addition to HIV).

2. The Defense Threat Reduction Agency has announced their intention to fund further development of this drug.

Meanwhile, SIGA's lead drug, ST-246, a smallpox/monkeypox cure, has applied for an enormous stockpiling contract with BARDA, which will be awarded in September. This is the only smallpox drug out there which fully fits the specifications of this contract - which, if awarded, would likely mean a stock price of $15-$20. Looking ahead, FDA approval is expected next spring, at which point ST-246 can be stockpiled by individuals and companies and will almost certainly procure foreign contracts (Israel, India, etc.). Also, the shelf life is fairly short, so the cycle will repeat.

Plus, SIGA has a pretty far-along drugs for dengue and lassa fever, deemed potential pandemics. And another for drug-resistant staph and strep. And they have the backing of billionaire Ron Perelman, so while they surely will be bought by a big pharma company at some point, they certainly won't sell out early or cheaply.

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