Celgene, one of the best biotech/pharma companies out there, has an incredible business model, amazing drugs, and a very hot pipeline. I recommend it as a key part of your investment portfolio. One reason is that Celgene is developing a whole class of new but related drugs called IMIDS, building on the success of thalidomide and Revlimid in dealing with certain cancers and other diseases. Its price has been held back this summer and is ready to move forward at this excellent buying opportunity.

As reported by the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation:

Like thalidomide, IMiDs are immunomodulatory agents (drugs that can modify or regulate the functioning of the immune system). IMiDs appear to have multiple actions, including both anticancer and anti-inflammatory activities.

Details on IMiDs’ Mechanism of Action

IMiDs affect the immune system in several ways. They induce immune responses, enhance activity of immune cells, and inhibit inflammation. IMiDs appear to alter the levels of various cytokines (growth factors or factors that inhibit growth) and affect cells of the immune system. Studies show that IMiDs:

  • Enhance the activation of T cells
  • Enhance the activity of natural killer cells, which help kill cancer cells
  • Enhance production of interleukin 2 (IL-2), a growth factor for T cells
  • Inhibit inflammatory cytokines including
    • Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-╬▒)
    • Interleukin 1-beta (IL-1╬▓)
  • Stimulate the production of interleukin 10 (IL-10), an anti-inflammatory cytokine

In addition, the IMiDs inhibit the growth of new blood vessels (angiogenesis) through inhibition of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).

Celgene has been down a little in the past few weeks, and frankly seems coiled and ready to spring. Watch for a strong move this week or early next week. By the end of the year, I would not be suprised to see it 30% higher than it is now.