Checking in on OPKO Long After J.P. Morgan Ends

The health-care conference might be over, but you can still watch presentations from OPKO Health and others.

Jan 27, 2014 at 6:30PM

J.P. Morgan's Healthcare Conference, the annual kickoff for biotechs, is in the books. But long after executives and investors abandon the Westin St. Francis Hotel, the conference continues to live on.

On the Internet, at least.

Most of the companies' presentations are still available to view here, and you can find a link to their slides on the company/presentation info pages.

It's an easy way to get introduced to a company you're thinking of putting on your watchlist. After all of the news-driven presentations are done, each year, I try to go back and listen to at least one presentation by a company I haven't followed closely.

This year's pick? OPKO Health (NYSE:OPK).

I'm not sure how OPKO Health has managed to fly under my radar considering how much the biotech has going on. The company is developing a diagnostic platform, has a pipeline of drugs, and has made quite a few equity investments in other biotechs.

On the diagnostic side, OPKO is developing its Claros immunoassay that would allow doctors to do laboratory testing in-house. The tabletop-sized machine reads a sample on a card and can potentially perform up to 10 tests off one sample.

While doing the tests in the office should be more convenient for patients, the big driver for sales will come from doctor's ability to make more money. If the tests can provide results that are as accurate as the ones done by Laboratory Corporation of America (NYSE: LH) or Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX), doctors can bill insurers directly for the test and pocket the difference. The Claros isn't going to put Laboratory Corp. or Quest out of business, but it could take a small chunk of some of their routine tests.

OPKO is also developing a separate test called the 4Kscore to determine patient's risk of developing prostate cancer. A whopping 60% of prostate biopsies are negative. If the 4Kscore can predict which of those biopsies will be negative, they won't have to be performed, producing a compelling value proposition. OPKO estimates eliminating the unnecessary biopsies could save about $1 billion a year, which insurers would presumably be willing to pay to OPKO to run the 4Kscore tests considering a blood test is substantially less invasive than a biopsy.

On the pharmaceutical side, OPKO has five drugs in late-stage development.

A phase 3 trial testing Rayaldy in patients with secondary hyperparathyroidism with chronic kidney disease and vitamin D insufficiency is scheduled to read out in the middle of this year. OPKO worked out a special protocol assessment with the FDA before the trial began, so if the results are positive, an approval toward the end of 2015 or early 2016 seems likely.

OPKO's most advanced drug, Rolapitant, is licensed to Tesaro (NASDAQ:TSRO). Rolapitant, which treats nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy and surgical operations, has already passed two phase 3 trials. A third trial is expected to read out early this year, putting Tesaro on target to submit a marketing application in the middle of this year.

Finally Tesaro has a basket of investments in nine different biotechs, including its partner, Tesaro. As Phillip Frost, OPKO's Chairman and CEO put it, the company likes to have "fingers in many pies."

The only problem is that can be very messy, figuratively and literally.

A Foolish challenge
From what I heard on the webcast, OPKO isn't my cup of tea. With so much going on, it's very difficult to determine a fair value for the company. If you like companies with multiple shots on goal, I encourage you to listen to the webcast; there's even more going on at the company than I was able to cover here.

Or listen to a presentation of a different company you'd like to know more about. Just don't let the resource go to waste.

The Fool has another resource for finding companies to add to your watchlist. Check out what stock The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected as his No. 1 stock for 2014 in the special free report "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014." Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.

Fool contributor Brian Orelli has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Laboratory of America and Quest Diagnostics. The Motley Fool owns shares of JPMorgan Chase. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at www.fool.com/podcasts.

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to www.fool.com/podcasts, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.

 


Compare Brokers