Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Insights from a Top Five Star Fund Manager on Drug Pipelines (Part II)

Recently, Larry and I met with an interesting person, Ken Kam. Ken manages the Masters 100 Fund (MOFQX) and is a Morningstar Five Star fund manager. He has been regularly beating the S&P 500 Composite Stock Price index. Ken believes that his approach to investments using virtual portfolios to derive real investment decisions will be the wave of the future. Ken’s approach can be checked out at Earlier in his career, he had managed a technology and healthcare fund and had also run a medical devices company. During our meeting, we learned about his current holdings and what he thinks about the future of the pharmaceutical industry. This is the second of three blogs based on that interview.

In my last blog, I introduced Ken Kam, the fund manager of the Marketocracy’s Masters 100 Fund (MOFQX) and reviewed his position in Elan Corporation PLC, his thoughts on its drug, Tysabri,(Bapinuezumab) and its current prospects. In this entry, I will go over Ken’s future prospects for Elan and Tysabri.

Since taking his first in Elan in June 2005, the stock has doubled several times. Ken thinks that it could double again. Larry and I queried him about this and he gave us his reasons. First, Elan is conducting trials for Tysabri for use with Alzheimer’s disease. Unlike the multiple sclerosis space where Tysabri has three other competitive drugs to go against there are no others in the Alzheimer’s space to contend with. For this reason alone, Ken thinks Elan could double. He likes the Alzheimer’s story and thinks that it could make Elan another Amgen.

Next, Ken is taking a longer view on Elan. It possesses nanocrystal technology which allows the manufacture of nano-sized versions of existing drugs. This increases the surface area of the drug permitting a more effective dosage with reduced side effects. This is fundamental technology that can be applied to many other drugs, that are coming off patent. Other companies would have to do the research to see of their drugs were effective. Elan could either acquire other drugs coming off patent and make nano-sized versions or license the technology to the other drug manufacturers. Manufacturers with drugs coming off patent are looking at ways to make their drugs more effective. Nanocrystal technology offers the chance to extend a patent for another ten years Ken explained to us. This is what Ken sees as the future pipeline for Elan and explains his optimistic future for the company.

In my next and final blog based on Larry’s and my meeting with Ken Kam, I’ll write about Ken’s thoughts on the drug industry and its future.

As always, we welcome your feedback. Please contact us at We look forward to hearing from you.

Contributed by Guy de Lastin

No comments: