Monthly Archives :

March 2018

Big Biotech Stock Jumps

Last Month, three stocks soared 24% or more. This isn’t unusual for biotech investments, but are these jumps justified, and should you be investing in these stocks too? Some of the three biggest moves in the week of February 24 were Voyager Therapeutics, Fate Therapeutics, and Odonate Therapeutics.

Voyager Therapeutics’ shares soared almost 50% higher. This can be attributed to the company receiving help from drug producer AbbVie. This collaboration was announced on February 20 and is supposed to help the companies develop treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. Voyager will be given $69 million in upfront payments and has the opportunity to gain up to $155 million in preclinical and phase 1 milestone payments. Also, Voyager could receive $895 million per vectorized tau antibody if the key development and regulatory milestones are reached, and they would gain any tiered royalties on commercial sales.

Voyager has one clinical program that received approval from the FDA to advance to a phase 2/3 clinical study. This study is to find a treatment of advanced Parkinson’s disease. Voyager also has several preclinical candidates, some of which Sanofi has secured licensing option rights.

This deal with AbbVie will help both companies as Voyager benefits from an influx of cash and AbbVie gets to enhance its neuroscience pipeline, which includes an experimental Alzheimer’s disease drug in phase 2 testing.

Fate Therapeutics’ shares went up 45%. This was a continuation of a six-month streak in which the biotech’s market cap has tripled. This progress is due to the announcement of an early-stage clinical study, FATE-NK100, a natural killer (NK) cell cancer therapy. On February 20 the first patient was treated in a phase 1 study combining FATE-NK100 with either Herceptin or Erbitux in treating advanced solid tumors. Both of these drugs are monoclonal antibody chemotherapies, which are commonly used in chemotherapy.

The immunotherapy is also in a couple of other clinical studies target treatment of acute myelogenous leukemia and ovarian cancer. This treatment shows potential for patients whose monoclonal antibody therapy has failed. Many believe that the combination of the NK cell cancer therapy with monoclonal antibody drugs could be more effective than the single-drug treatments.

Odonate Therapeutics stock rose 24% last month. Insider biotech investing by Odonate’s CEO Kevin Tang is the cause for the jump. Tang bought $2.9 million worth of shares on February 16 and $1.1 million on February 22.

It appears that Tang is hopeful about Odonate’s pipeline candidate, tesetaxel. Chemotherapy is being considered in a late-stage clinical study for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer. Tesetaxel is in a class of drugs known as taxanes, many of which are approved to treat cancer. However, tesetaxel comes in a pill and doesn’t require intravenous administration. This could make tesatexel a huge hit on the commercial market.

Phase 3 of the study on tesetaxel began in December; However, results on how well the drug performed most likely won’t be available until 2020.

Should you buy?

Now the question everyone wants has been answered. Whether you’re entering cannabis investing, real estate investing, or biotech investing you want to feel confident in your decision. While all of the companies above have some potential, all of these biotech stocks are still in a clinical stage, without products on the market. For many, this is too risky because the odds of failure are still very high. While you can be cautiously optimistic about these stocks, now may not be the best time to buy these stocks.

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Diversity Management: No Longer About the Bottom Line

Diversity management is paramount to the growth of companies in the cannabis and hemp industries. Times have changed, no longer can companies hide behind their lack of cultural acumen. Organizations that seek market relevancy must embrace diversity in how they think, behave and innovate.

Diversity is no longer about the bottom-line! It’s about how an organization treats its clients and employees from inception. Understandings and viewpoints regarding diversity and new best practices that allows diversity to play a more strategic role in cultivating sustainable business growth starts with authenticity.

It’s no mystery that companies in the cannabis and hemp industries are known to pay lip service when it comes to diversity and they really don’t embrace or live by it. It’s not only evident in their conversation, but it’s evident in the culture of their company. Diversity is more than employee demographics and supporting a few non-profit organizations. Companies cannot continue to buy diversity, and the ones who do, stand a BIG chance of damaging their brand.

Our global society has changed, and the new generation carefully evaluates how companies and organizations adjust to this change. When companies are not authentic; clients and employees start to question their leadership.

Here at C. E. Hutton, diversity is the foundation of our brand. We’re taking a long-term strategic approach to engage diversity while defining our new role in the cannabis industry.

Diversity is not about getting into multicultural markets; it’s about rethinking the way we do business. Embracing different people who believe different things and represent different cultures, generations, ideas, and ways of thinking drives innovative perspectives. This is Diversity.

Innovation is about looking at complex problems and bringing new perspectives to the table to help solve them. That’s exactly what companies and Entrepreneurs will find here at C. E. Hutton.

Our brand is synonymous with diversity and although we’re new to the cannabis industry, we’re making a name for ourselves by responding to the needs of our clients in an authentic way they respect.

– Khadijah Adams

Khadijah Adams is the Vice President and COO of C. E. Hutton, a minority-focused
business development and management company located in Denver, Colorado. Khadijah
has 20 years of business development, operational management, sales and marketing
experience. For more information about C. E. Hutton, go to: www.cehutton.com

Corporate to Cannabis: From Outside to Inside

It’s January 2, 2014, and Denver’s Amendment 64 is now in force and legalized commercial sales of marijuana has started. For many people, this presents a new and exciting way to think about investment opportunities, new employment possibilities, health benefit and treatment options; and an overall sense of excitement to re-channel their lives in a different direction.

As a Denver native, I had a front row seat watching my city’s landscape change dramatically and quickly with a rising population of people moving to the city, new neighborhoods being re-created, home prices blowing up and dispensaries becoming as prevalent as 7-Eleven stores.

Who wouldn’t want to participate in the fastest growing industry in Colorado and the United States as a whole?

Count me in!

However, several critical questions weighed heavy on me and I’m sure they resonate with other minorities and people of color universally when trying to venture into a new business arena.

Who can I connect with to get started?
Who has expertise?
Who can I trust?
Who has capital?
Who has ACCESS??

“These questions absolutely describe my mind-set, thinking about my start in the industry as an investor and possible entrepreneur.”

I had been grinding in Corporate America for nearly 30 years, traveled to places I hadn’t considered visiting, much less doing business there and had decades of operational and management experience. I’ve met great people and had mostly fond memories. I was struggling with change, but as the group Soul II Soul sang, “Keep on Moving”, I knew my skills and talents were transferable and it was time to move.

Two years passed, and I was still looking for that access.

In 2016 as fate would have it, in scanning my email I get a message from Facebook.

No, I’m not a big Facebook user, but for some reason that specific day in November, I received the “friends you may know” message in my email and the name Khadijah Adams pops up, “MIPR Holdings, LLC,” a professional consulting firm focused on marijuana investments in new business ventures and facilitating capital connections. The professional industry access I was looking for!

I’m thankful every day for that little message in my inbox and for the person that would eventually become my business partner.

Khadijah already had tenure in the industry, a wealth of contacts and most importantly, an entrepreneur in her own right for many years. She knew the upsides and downsides and what the possibilities are in new legal industry.

After working on a few investments with Khadijah, there was always this ongoing conversation about the lack of diversity in the industry, not just in Colorado, but nationwide in legalized states.

We both knew a paradigm shift was happening in the industry and the movement from the “underground industry” had quickly become full-fledged professional big business.

“There was this continuing conversation about getting more professional minorities in the industry through business development and management, providing communities with entrepreneurship possibilities, being a voice in the social justice struggle, and our number one mission; leaving something behind, a legacy.”

BOOM!

This backdrop was the fuel, energy, emotion and the genesis of C.E. Hutton, LLC., Corporate to Cannabis.

It’s been quite a ride since June of 2017 when the company was founded to when we officially launched February 1, 2018. There were some tough lessons learned and I continue to learn and continue to listen as smart leaders do.

“The lessons and skills I’ve learned over the years is invaluable and extremely excited to see where the C.E. Hutton company is going. We have built a proudly diverse and dynamic team of professionals who are those connectors internal to the marijuana industry and external to the wider business arena. I am beyond GRATEFUL for being blessed with the support that others have given me in my life and now I’m paying it forward. I’m very thankful.”

“Faith, Integrity and Trust (F.I.T.) for the legacy we leave for others.” – C. E. Hutton

Charles E. Hutton is the President and CEO of C. E. Hutton, a minority-focused business development and management company located in Denver, Colorado. C. E. Hutton has 30 years of Operational Management experience with Fortune 50 & 500 companies.

For more information about C. E. Hutton, go to: www.cehutton.com

Marijuana Stigma Not Keeping This Black Man Out of the Billion Dollar Industry

Now that Marijuana is the fastest growing industry in America and generates billions of dollars annually, it is believed that only 19% of business ownership is represented by Minorities according to the Marijuana Business Daily and of these companies only 1% generate six-figure annual revenue.

What is the story behind this?

One critical element is how the criminal justice system has and continues to treat people of color. Methodical racial prejudice drove cannabis arrests in communities of color and the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch reports that in 39 states that provided sufficient data, Black people are four times more likely to be arrested for cannabis possession than white people, although they consume cannabis at similar rates.

Also, Black and Latino men are still being subjected to mass incarceration in the continuing “War on Drugs.”

Additionally, Black and Latino men are by far subjected to more criticism when it comes to the stigma of marijuana both politically and spiritually. Because of the disproportionate amount of arrests, many find the stigma hard to ignore and even harder to overcome.

One man refuses to allow the social challenges and stigma of marijuana to keep him out of this billion-dollar industry. To prove it, he transitioned from an Executive position in corporate America into the Marijuana industry.

C. E. Hutton took his first steps out of the proverbial “canna-closet” in 2016 when he made his first investment in a cannabis-related tour company. His vision to help level the playing field for minorities in the cannabis space came when he completed his first corporate acquisition.

After investing in The GreenStreet Academy, a minority-owned online educational platform focused on teaching the basics and fundamentals of investing in the marijuana industry, C. E. decided to make his transition into the cannabis industry official by launching C. E. Hutton, LLC (“The Company”) in June 2017.

The Company is a minority-focused business development and management company that offers a unique suite of business and management services to Entrepreneurs and small to mid-size companies seeking to enter or expand their business in the cannabis and hemp industries.

“It is no secret that disadvantages exist for people of color who are trying to realize their business dreams and aspirations and the existing stigma and challenges to realize them can appear to be without end. The best way to attack those challenges is to build allies, business and community networks and seek supporters that provide access and insight.

The C.E.Hutton firm will be the one of those supporters that is focused on creating positivity in the marijuana industry for minority entrepreneurs and transforming those dreams and aspirations into actual business ownership empowerment.”

To learn more about C. E. Hutton, please visit www.cehutton.com

Is it Worth it? Three Biotech Stocks with High Premiums

Biotech investing may be riskier than other types of investing such as real estate investing, but it also comes with big payoffs. Recently three biotech stocks have been rising and have investors paying high premiums. These three stocks are Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc., Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated, and Tesaro Inc. So why is everyone paying so much in premiums?

Ionis Pharmaceuticals is the founder of RNA-antisense technology. It’s first commercial stage product, Spinraza had a record-breaking season, and the FDA has already begun reviewing applications from the company for two new drug candidates with 9 figure sales potential.

Spinraza is the first FDA approved treatment for patients with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, the most common genetic cause of infant mortality. Because it is the only treatment of its kind Ionis’ marketing partner made $884 million in global Spinraza sales last year. Ionis’ share of the sales was at $113 million. Ionis is directing this revenue toward drug candidates it owns.

Investors don’t mind paying 13X the trailing sales for biotech stocks because Ionis has a huge internal cycle and the potential for high-margin royalty revenue to fund further development.

Earlier this year the FDA accepted an application for inotersen, a candidate intended to treat transthyretin amyloidosis. While Alnylam Pharmaceuticals already has a TTR drug, patisiran, under review as well. Inotersen could eventually earn Ionis an addition $300 million in revenue.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals is the only company marketing therapies that attack the cause of Cystic Fibrosis (CF). CF limits lung function and shortens the lifespans of 75,000 people.  This complete control of the market is just one reason why investors are willing to pay 17 times trailing sales for this stock.

On top of this Vertex is also expanding its customer list. Vertex started the year with 2 CF therapies and had 34,000 qualifying patients; however, a third CF therapy, Symdeko, which could expand Vertex’s customer base to 44,000; Vertex also has a couple of experimental treatments in the late- stage of testing, which could further boost the number to 68,000.

Combine this with the fact that a wholesale acquisition cost of a year of treatment is 292,000 dollars, and patients will need this treatment throughout their lives. It’s easy to see why someone would pay such a high premium.

Tesaro Inc. is the maker of Zejula a drug that makes it hard for tumor cells to repair their DNA. This drug was first used to keep ovarian cancer from reoccurring after standard chemo treatments. Chemo is painful and draining often causes pain, which requires medications like medical marijuana to ease. It’s no wonder why stocks soared after Zejula came into the market. Ovarian cancer tends to respond well to initial chemo treatments but is known to grow back and be unresponsive to subsequent chemo treatments. It’s the first medication to lengthen the span between rounds of chemotherapy extending the time from 5.5 months to 21 months or longer.

The FDA expanded the drug label of another PARD inhibitor to the same patients. This drug was AstraZeneca’s Lynparza. The price of Tesaro stock is still 13 times that of the trailing sales but has stopped growing.

In a world continually searching for cures to new diseases, it’s easy to see why companies posed to corner a market would be able to charge more for a share. While Vertex is clearly in the best shape of all three companies, all of them have a firm stake in biotechnology and prove it by demanding high premiums.

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Minority Business Opportunities in Oklahoma

When you think of business opportunities, do you think of Oklahoma? I’m going to go ahead and guess that’s a no. Oklahoma is far from what we think of as a booming metropolis, but surprisingly, Oklahoma has several programs designed to help minority-owned businesses. While Oklahoma doesn’t have an overall certification for minority businesses or disadvantaged business there are several certifications available. In fact, the states’ Small and Minority Business Coordinator, Ken Talley recently conducted a workshop at the Moore Norman Technology Center’s Franklin Road Campus; during this workshop, Talley mentioned several certifications available to minority businesses.

A business owner may be certified in several areas if they desire to and if they meet their desired customer markets. Talley shared a few and divided them up into the areas below.

Private Certifications

The private sector offers the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) program.

The NMSDC and its partners ask major corporations and large companies to purchase products from a minority-owned business. These large corporations are given a list. To get on this listing, a minority-business owner must own 51% or more of the business and be a member of a minority.

One of the affiliates with this program in Oklahoma is the Southwest Minority Supplier Development Council, which operates out of Austin, TX.

If you would like to join in the Oklahoma Minority Business Enterprise Certification, you can go to SMSDC.org or call 512-659-2160.

Transportation Certifications

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation has a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Certification for minority businesses. This certification will put the businesses information in the DBE certified Directory Database, which will allow bidders on projects to use certified DBE(s) and ensure their projects meet federal guidelines.

To qualify a minority business owner must hold 51% or more ownership of the business, have full operating control of the business and provide a service, product, or material needed for a transportation project.

Federal Contract Certifications

The Small Business Administration administers certification to qualifying businesses that want to do business with federal departments and agencies.

One available certification in this area includes the Small Disadvantage Business Certification, which is a self-certification for businesses that meet social and economically disadvantaged standards. This certification requires the businesses to be entered in the System for Award Management (SAM) database.

To learn more, go to sam.gov.

Another certification in this area is the Business Development Certifications, which are for minority businesses that qualify for sole source, negotiated contracts with federal businesses.

For more information on this certification, check out sba.gov or call 405-600-8000.

Certifications for Women

The Oklahoma Department of Commerce (ODOC) offers a women0owned business certification.

For more information, go to Okcommerce.gov/certifications or call 405-815-5143.

Tribal Certifications

Indian-owned business can gain certification under the Cherokee Nation TERO, cherokeetero.com, 918-453-5335; Muskogee (Creek) National TER), mcn-nsn.gov/services/tero, 918-549-2964 or 918-549-2966; Chickasaw Nation Preferred Vendor Program, chickasaw.net/Services/Preferred-Vendor-Program.aspx, 580-559-0728; Choctaw Nation Preferred Supplier Program, preferredsuppliers.choctawnation.com, 580-924-8280, ext. 2889 or 2899.

For more information on Minority Business opportunities in Oklahoma, call Tally at 405-815-5218 or email him at ken.talley@okcommerce.gov.

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Fortune Favors the Bold and Punishes the Unprepared

You have no real control as to when your time has come only on the how you live it. I’ll take mine standing please, preferably with a peanut butter and banana sandwich.

I’d be lying if I said that I’ve never been knocked down. I’m also old enough to realize that when I’ve stumbled to get back on my feet, it was because I didn’t have the professional help I needed.

C. E. Hutton has assembled a group of already established professionals in the cannabis industry starting in Colorado, then California and now Florida and Arizona. A business development and management team capable of designing, building, and managing one of the most valuable things you’ll ever build in your life, your business.

If a family member was sick, you’d call a doctor, if your home needed some repairs, you’d call a tradesman. So why should starting a business be any different? Growing your business will take partnering with the right team, plenty of energy and your time.

“Fortune favors the bold and punishes the unprepared; hit the ground running with C. E. Hutton” – Michael Souza

Click here for more information: https://www.cehutton.com/

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Author: Michael Souza – Partner at C. E. Hutton, LLC a Business Development and Management Company that helps entrepreneurs and small to mid-size companies gain or even retain customers. They offer business and marketing planning, strategic planning, high-level retainer consulting, market research reports, project-based consulting, and company registration.

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