Monday, January 30, 2006

Psoriasis Plays: ABT, CATG

The best biologic drugs on the market approved for psoriasis include Genentech's (DNA) Raptiva and Abbott Lab's Humira.

Abbott (ABT) is a classic growth story, meaning it spits out plenty of cash and pays a 3% dividend.

Abbott -- which has a solid business platform built on pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, and infant formula --
recently saw some upside after it swallowed Guidant's vascular intervention and endovascular businesses for more than $4 billion.

That move enhances Abbott's credibility as a future player in the stent market, as it enables Abbott to hike margins on medical devices and concurrently avoid pharma risks.

Abbott's top drug, Humira, continues to impress us with its growth, so much, in fact, that we finally took the time to research the company whose technology spawned it -- a little UK company called Cambridge Antibody Technology Group (CATG).

CATG engages in the discovery and development of human therapeutic antibodies. The story behind CATG is royalties. CATG should get close to 3% of the $2B in sales of Humira in 06. Moreover, Genzyme (GENZ) has drugs close to market where CATG will make excellent additional royalties.

Abbott anticipates filing further BLAs for Humira in Crohn's disease in 2006 and chronic plaque psoriasis in 2006/2007. Should Abbott get the nod, that new royalty stream will hit CATG's top line like a ton of bricks.

CATG's anti-body technology is just starting to get noticed. With $300M cash and less than $2M in debt, CATG is worth following.

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