Why NewLink Genetics Corp. Shares Spiked Higher

NewLink shares soar following positive phase 2 data. See what experimental therapy has investors so excited.

May 30, 2014 at 2:16PM

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of NewLink Genetics (NASDAQ:NLNK), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing immunotherapeutic products for the treatment of cancer, spiked higher by as much as 14% after announcing positive phase 2 data utilizing dorgenmeltucel-L and pegylated interferon-alpha 2b in patients with advanced metastatic melanoma.

So what: According to NewLink's press release, its once-weekly injectable drug (for 12 weeks) plus pegylated interferion (from weeks 5 through 12) produced 21 evaluable patients out of 25 enrollees. Of the 16 stage 4 disease patients enrolled, two has a complete RECIST response, one had stable disease, and four had no evidence of disease. Of the remaining nine patients that were stage 2/3, three had no evidence of disease, while one stage 2C patients had slow progressive disease. As noted, 60% of patients survived longer than a year with the median overall survival of the study being 29 months. Dorgenmeltucel-L was also shown to be safe and tolerable in its study. In addition to its positive phase 2 study, NewLink launched an additional melanoma trial utilizing dorgenmeltucel-L and ipilimumab which will test dorgenmeltucel-L in a higher dose concentration to determine if it will help metastatic melanoma patients live longer.

Now what: Cancer immunotherapies remain a hot topic discussion among biotech investors, even if these stocks have given up most, or in NewLink's case all of their 2014 gains. NewLink is developing quite an extensive pipeline of therapies meant to stimulate a patient's immune system in the hope that it will attack targeted cancer cells. The early indications from all of its studies are that its methods are working. Of course, keep in mind there's still plenty of risk here as we're dealing with a wholly clinical-stage company that's burning through large amounts of cash to conduct these extensive trials which often take years. Perhaps the best way to put it is I'm cautiously optimistic of NewLink Genetics going forward, but I would suggest only risk-willing and biotech-savvy investors with a taste for volatility consider digging deeper into this company.

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A Financial Plan on an Index Card

Keeping it simple.

Aug 7, 2015 at 11:26AM

Two years ago, University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack wrote his entire financial plan on an index card.

It blew up. People loved the idea. Financial advice is often intentionally complicated. Obscurity lets advisors charge higher fees. But the most important parts are painfully simple. Here's how Pollack put it:

The card came out of chat I had regarding what I view as the financial industry's basic dilemma: The best investment advice fits on an index card. A commenter asked for the actual index card. Although I was originally speaking in metaphor, I grabbed a pen and one of my daughter's note cards, scribbled this out in maybe three minutes, snapped a picture with my iPhone, and the rest was history.

More advisors and investors caught onto the idea and started writing their own financial plans on a single index card.

I love the exercise, because it makes you think about what's important and forces you to be succinct.

So, here's my index-card financial plan:


Everything else is details. 

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