SARS update

Eerie how the peak of media SARS frenzy matched the moment when the outbreak went into serious decline. The Time/Newsweek contrarian indicator strikes again!

More seriously, as I have been saying for some time now, the latest data shows that SARS is under control in all regions, with virtually no new cases outside of China. Even the exception, China, is having some success controlling the outbreak.

On an investment front, SARS shorts who didn’t cover some time back, as I suggested two weeks or so ago, are taking it in the teeth. And SARS longs who are playing with various micro-cap biotechs are hanging by their teeth instead.

Finally, as a general note on biotech, this morning’s developments were interesting. There was a classic tragedy of the anti-commons, as patents were filed by Hong Kong, Canada, and U.S. agencies on aspects of the virus and related genes. All would seemingly have preferred not to file, but all also worried that someone else would and they would be forced to pay a ticket-taker for access to the SARS market — assuming it becomes a persistent or seasonal syndrome.