The WHO Issues Bulletin On Ebola Today, Compliments ZMapp, Doesn’t Mention Tekmira & QTR Pats Himself on the Back

As a Tekmira investor, you know you’re living and dying (no pun intended) by the amount of Ebola cases reported and the WHO’s sentiment on the worldwide breakout. Should the WHO come out and declare the emergency over, Tekmira shares would likely start walking back down to their pre-hype $10 levels.

The WHO issued a bulletin today, updating the world on their stance on the Ebola crisis.

You can read the bulletin here, but I’ve copied the content of the release into the article below:

Situation assessment – 21 August 2014

Clinicians working in Liberia have informed WHO that 2 doctors and 1 nurse have now received the experimental Ebola therapy, ZMapp.

The nurse and one of the doctors show a marked improvement. The condition of the second doctor is serious but has improved somewhat.

According to the manufacturer, the very limited supplies of this experimental medicine are now exhausted.

ZMapp is one of several experimental treatments and vaccines for Ebola that are currently undergoing investigation. At present, supplies of all are extremely limited.

On 4–5 September, WHO will host a consultation on potential Ebola therapies and vaccines in Geneva. The consultation has been convened to gather expertise about the most promising experimental therapies and vaccines and their role in containing the Ebola outbreak in west Africa.

The expertise among the more than 100 participants is wide, ranging from pharmaceutical research and the clinical demands of Ebola care, to expertise on ethical, legal, and regulatory issues. More than 20 experts from west Africa are expected to attend.

Issues of safety and efficacy will be discussed together with innovative models for expediting clinical trials. Possible ways to ramp up production of the most promising products will also be explored.

Presentations about the real conditions and challenges in affected African countries are intended to anchor all discussions and shape the consensus advice that is expected to emerge.

As you can see, while the successful ZMapp has been mentioned by name, the WHO failed to say anything about Tekmira’s drug in this release. This comes a day after Tekmira played “let’s make a deal” with African governments in order to get its drug onto the continent.

This also comes one day after longs bought in a euphoric rage because one of Tekmira’s other drugs worked on a disease that was not Ebola (it’s labeled as Ebola’s cousin) – in monkeys.

And what’s with this conference being scheduled to “explore safety and efficacy” on 9/4 – the WHO doesn’t seem to be in a rush, do they? Could it be possibly this pandemic is going to pass before the end of the year? QTR thinks so.

Yes, apparently this has become an investment thesis for buying a $400-$500M market cap company with nothing but net losses in its past. Beats me.

We saw today what we’ve been seeing from TKMR – weak trading. A gap open and a flush out when liquidity hits. God help this stock on a day when the market decides to correct 1% or so.

There’s also been a ton of people that have given me the business about how many articles I’ve written over the span of about 1 year and 8 months. That total on Seeking Alpha is now around X and yes, I personally wrote every single one of them. I love to write and get my thoughts down and I love the platform that Seeking Alpha provided for me. I’d give these insults a second thought if the amount I was writing was diluting the content of my articles, but according to TipRanks – after 847 articles – the results aren’t too shabby.


And that’s with a massive QCOR loss priced in – which, again, I contest will come back around my way.

I remain short TKMR via puts – added some today.

Catch you on the flip side,



  1. Hi QTR, in my opinion, Tipranks isn’t exactly accurate in reflecting alpha – they don’t incorporate the performance of all the articles written of an author. Sometimes an author is on the sidelines and Tipranks says they’re long. Plus the top performing bloggers for some reason are mainly the authors who write the most – that’s statistically implausible – they’re brilliant marketers in that regard, but it doesn’t show ‘alpha’.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Conceptually ‘alpha’ is not dependent on just returns over the index, as an investor could easily load up on high beta stocks and outperform by wide margin and yet not have ‘alpha’.

    A lot of people look like geniuses now because it’s a bull market. But I guarantee you that if circumstances change, the vast majority of those geniuses will look more ordinary.

    That’s how it was in 2000, 2008, and eventually whenever this bull run ends.

    I don’t mean to diminish their achievement, but conceptually alpha is something extremely rare.

    “That has a serious implication for individual investors, he says: True investing skill is so rare that the rest of us shouldn’t even try to emulate those who have it. In addition, he says, we probably shouldn’t bother trying to hire the few outperformers to invest our money. Why? Because we aren’t likely to be able to identify them. Their talents aren’t always on public display, and there may be only a few thousand of them in the entire United States.”

    The chances of a significant percentage of the most prolific bloggers also being the ones with great ‘alpha’ is statistically implausible.

    I am not saying that it is not possible – Personally I think you have investing acumen, and I like reading your writing.but I’m just saying take everything with a grain of salt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d agree with you re: bull markets if my entire book was long, which it wasn’t. 847 articles on Seeking Alpha in 1.5 years – about 35-40% of those were short ideas. Tough to come up with in an irrational bull market, right?

      And my two biggest shorts, which I still continue to stake my repuatation on – HLF & QCOR/MNK – are still yet to crumble. But just wait, time is on the side of shorts with those two.


  3. I too own TKMR puts but I would like to quibble with a few minor points you have brought up. Yes TKMR loses money, but that is what all development stage biotechs do until they hit the jackpot and get a drug approved for commercial sale. And as for the efficacy from the animal run in Marburg, the TKMR bulls can justifiably crow about that. There is enough similarity between characteristics of Marburg and Ebola and primates and humans that a good result in one is likely (but not certainly) to lead to a good result in the other. That is the reason why they do those sorts of tests.

    Finally, as to TKMR’s crazy market cap of $400+ million, to put some context around that, two other pubcos working on Ebola therapies are NLNK, mkt cap ~$800 mil and IMV.V, market cap ~$80 mil. TKMR is not a bad biotech company, in much the same way that KNDI is not a bad EV car company. What they both share are rabid fans for stockholders who have pushed up the stocks too far, too fast. TKMR has 23 million shares out and a float of 10 mil shares. And it trades on average 4.4 mil shares daily. That means the float turns over less than every 3 days and the entire market cap turns over about every week. Twice in August the entire market cap turned over in a day! Those rabid fans are not investors, they are merely gamblers at the world’s largest casino: the stock market. And they are likely to suffer the same fate that most casino dwellers do.

    My negativity on TKMR is on the stock, not the company. I have seen this type of investor psychology play out many times before. I look for a substantial decline in its stock price as the bubble inevitably pops. My bet is small at this point, but I will likely add when we see some overall market weakness.


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