Sunday, November 1, 2009

SIGA: The Time is Now

I first tipped you to SIGA, a tiny pharmaceutical company, in June, 2008, when its stock price was $2.92. After hitting a high of $8.88 a couple months ago, it's recently been in a fade, currently down to $6.20. Investors are awaiting announcement of a government contract to buy a billion dollars or so worth of its smallpox medicine, ST-246, which seems to work flawlessly and with no side effects. The contract was due to be announced "as soon as September", and investors are currently in a froth, because - surprise! - the governmental bureaucracy has acted less than promptly. So it's a great bargain right now. And there are indications that the announcement will come in the next week.

Also...there may also be announcement of an enormous grant to fund development of
SIGA's broad spectrum anti-viral.

Also...we haven't heard much news for a while about SIGA's very promising drug for dengue fever, feared to be the next big pandemic. We're due for a report.

Also...while the government can buy ST-246 (the smallpox drug) on a fast-track basis, prior to FDA approval, that approval is due sometime in 2010 - at which point any country, company, or individual concerned with bioterrorism can (and likely will) order the drug.

Also...the drug has a shelf life of two years. So this is an annuity.

But back to that imminent contract. SIGA has a market cap of 240M, and 38M shares outstanding. A $1B contract will explode this stock. And while there are no sure things in this life - you can't even be sure you'll live to finish reading this sentence - I've been following this company extremely closely for four years, and I can tell you it's as close to certain as investing and life can get*. The contract may not be announced this week, but it will in a few weeks at the latest.

So if you buy a few hundred dollars worth of SIGA on Monday (hurry up, it won't stay this low for long!), you'll have yourself a merry little Christmas indeed. Sell at $15, because the price will drift down after the pop, as beleaguered long term investors take profit. Or else hold on for a full year to enjoy long term capital gain taxation on your profit...and benefit from the cascade of good news expected for this company. SIGA will almost certainly be acquired by big pharma in a year or two, but it won't come cheap (Ronald Pereleman is a major investor). I'm predicting $30-40.

Warning: my next posting on SIGA will be a gloat....

* - a few quick data points among many: the funds are already allocated, the contract was offered via competitive RFP but ST-246 is the only possible contender, and SIGA has been working closely with (and been funded by) the relevant agency, BARDA, for years, and its CEO is on the board of the related National Biodefense Science Board. Furthermore, SIGA has been massively upgrading security at their facility (a requirement of the RFP), and a few weeks ago put out a hiring notice for a "experienced project manager for a federally funded procurement contract".

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