mRNA Delivery Platform and Novel Azole Class Anti-Fungal Treatment Power Biotech Picks from Dr. Raja

March 27, 2019

Kumaraguru Raja, Ph.D., MBA, is Vice President, Biotechnology Research at Noble Life Science Partners. Dr. Raja has significant experience as an Equity Analyst in the health care industry with a focus on biotechnology sector. Previously, he was an Senior Associate Analyst for over five years on the Citi Research biotechnology team that has been continuously ranked highly for biotechnology in the All-America Institutional Investor survey.

Dr. Raja’s expertise includes bottom-up scientific, financial analysis on companies across therapeutic areas and spectrum of market capitalizations. Dr. Raja has strong quantitative, scientific background with in-depth biotechnology and health care industry knowledge leveraged to identify compelling investment opportunities.

Dr. Raja conducted post-doctoral research at Mayo Clinic to understand the epigenetic causes of cancer and at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute to elucidate the molecular mechanisms concerning the role of human bone marrow stem cells in normal and leukemic hematopoiesis.

He received his Ph.D. in biological sciences from Bowling Green State University and MBA from University of California, San Diego.  In his 2,010 word interview, exclusively with the Wall Street Transcript, Dr. Raja reviews his top biotech and gene therapy stock picks and details his rationale.  One pick is on the cusp of having a key treatment approved.

“SCYNEXIS (NASDAQ:SCYX) is developing drugs for antifungal infections and conducting two Phase III trials in women with recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis. Data is expected in 2020. It recently released data from the hospital setting on patients who do not respond to currently available antifungal treatments. They showed good response to SCYNEXIS’ drug ibrexafungerp. So this is an exciting company at about a $50 million market cap. Obviously, this will be a catalyst in 2020.”

In his exclusive 3,951 word interview in the Wall Street Transcript, Marco Taglietti, M.D.,  the President and Chief Executive Officer of SCYNEXIS, explains why this is only the first step for value creation for SCYX investors:

“An oral product is extremely critical because when patients start to recover in the hospital, we need to treat them and send these patients home for many reasons but, in part, to avoid contraction of hospital-based fungal infections.

For many cancer and transplant patients, a major risk factor is acquiring infections, unfortunately, so sending them back home is really a significant and important step in the management of these patients. However, you can send them home only if you have an oral product.

As I mentioned, the only product that is currently available orally are products belonging to the azole class, and they are becoming less and less effective. We believe our product will really be an important player in the future.”

Another top pick from Dr. Raja is the now super hot gene therapy sub-sector, RNA delivery platform technology:

Arcturus Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ARCT) that is leveraging the mRNA delivery mechanism to treat various infectious diseases and orphan diseases. The preclinical data and overall technology are strong…The Big Pharma partners believe that the technology has some validation, so that is the reason for all these collaborations. It has collaborations with Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Takeda (NYSE:TAK) and Ultragenyx (NASDAQ:RARE) that are helping to fund development of a preclinical pipeline. ”

In his own exclusive 3,316 word interview with the Wall Street Transcript, the CEO of Arcturus, Joseph Payne, amplifies this investment thesis:  “Arcturus’ OTC mRNA medicine will be one the first of its kind as a chronically dosed intravenous messenger RNA therapeutic. Why is that significant? Because it will begin to fill a large white space opportunity for intravenous messenger RNA that is enormous. We are excited to potentially be the first or one of the first ones to do so.”

Read all three of these in-depth exclusive interviews in the Wall Street Transcript, along with many more.