sexta-feira, 18 de maio de 2007

Bolsa de Valores e Congresso Médico

Nada contra o mercado de capitais. Nada contra congressos médicos. Mas, cabe ressaltar a especulação que resulta da leitura rápida de resumos da American Society of Clinical Oncology para alavancar ações na bolsa de valores. Isso ocorre ano a ano e, praticamente somente antes da ASCO.
A razão é a mera especulação de resultados os quais praticamente ninguém consegue entender. Explico melhor: congresso são momentos de apresentação de dados novos, em grande parte na fase de elaboração ainda, com conclusões sempre apressadas. Depois da apresentação, os resultados serão enviados a uma revista que fará análise minuciosa. Mesmo com o artigo publicado na sua forma completa, as informações dão margem a dúvida e, as interpretações não são simples. O que dizer de um resumo de congresso como o da ASCO? Abaixo, parte de reportagem do The Wall Street Journal que revela que ainda há os "insider trades".
Volatility Becomes SymptomOf Doctors' Meetings Data Previews May Give Rise to 'Insider Trades';Sharp Moves in ImClone and Other Drug Firms By GREGORY ZUCKERMAN and GEETA ANANDMay 18, 2007; Page C1 There are few certainties in the stock market, but this appears to be one of them: Before a big meeting of doctors, a handful of pharmaceutical stocks move in mysterious ways. With an annual gathering of cancer specialists coming June 1, the action already has begun. Shares of ImClone Systems have tumbled more than 9% since Tuesday on heavy volume after embargoed data from an important cancer trial was released to 24,000 physicians expected to attend the conference of one of the largest oncology groups, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, or ASCO. Shares of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals have fallen almost 15% since and Genentech is down 3%, while Onyx Pharmaceuticals is up almost 10%, as investors pass around abstracts, or summaries, of data to be released as part of the ASCO meeting. Even though regulators have clamped down recently on companies relaying market-moving information to select investors, it isn't the first time that stocks have moved sharply ahead of the key event, amid the growing hunger of investors to get an information edge on volatile stocks such as biotechnology companies. "Oncology stocks consistently have shown unexplained volatility around the time ASCO releases data on embargo to its members," says Steven Harr, an analyst at Morgan Stanley. In fact, a number of analysts and investors have urged ASCO officials to stop sending the summaries to doctors before the conference, or make them available to everyone, in order to give investors an equal opportunity. "We have pointed out the volatility to ASCO in multiple communications over the past several years," says Dr. Harr, who also is a physician. He was among a group of analysts and institutional investors who approached ASCO two years ago to complain about the volatility in certain stocks after the abstracts were released. But the oncology group says that while it has tweaked the way it shares the data ahead of the meeting, it doesn't have plans to stop releasing the summaries beforehand. Officials say they have tried waiting until the conference to release the data but its members were inconvenienced, noting that ASCO serves its members, doctors and cancer patients, not Wall Street. Officials say the abstracts, which can be submitted as much as six months in advance of the meeting, only go to ASCO members, and that they come in a shrink-wrap package that has written instructions that the recipient can't "publish the information or provide it to others or use it for trading purposes," says Kristin Ludwig, senior director of communications and patient information for ASCO. "We've worked very hard to communicate the policies to members," Ms. Ludwig says. She says ASCO will review its policies after the meeting. The strategy doesn't seem to be working. The summaries were sent out last week, and a broad range of investors say they got their hands on the abstracts this week. Some say they have made trades based on the ASCO information because they received the data from third parties and therefore were under no obligation to abide by the embargo. Increasingly, hedge funds and other investment firms hire doctors as analysts or consultants, making it easier to get their hands on the abstracts. Doctors who trade on the information could be in violation of insider-trading laws, say securities experts. If they tell another investor about the data it gets murkier, but it could be problematic if the doctor knows that the recipient will trade on the information.

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