In the last post of the year, I will try to provide a status update as well as key 2013 milestones for the stocks in our portfolio. I would like to use this opportunity to wish everybody happy holidays and a happy New Year.
Seattle Genetics’ (SGEN) main task is expanding Adcetris’ use outside of approved niche indications (Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and ALCL). As an anti-CD30 antibody-drug conjugate (ADC), Adcetris has potential utility wherever CD30 is expressed by tumors. Continue reading →
Roche’s investor day, held last week, gave Seattle Genetics’ (SGEN) investors reasons for optimism. Roche has 9 antibody drug conjugates (ADC) in clinical testing: T-DM1, powered by Immunogen’s (IMGN) technology and 8 additional ADCs (in phase I) that are based on Seattle-Genetics’ technology. These ADC programs are expected to have data readouts in the coming year, making them Seattle Genetics’ major near-term growth opportunity. Following last week’s event, it is now clear that at least 5 of the 8 ADCs are active in cancer patients.
Below is a list of drugs and companies which will have meaningful data at this year’s annual meeting of American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). As I will be attending this year’s conference, I will try to write updates on a regular basis. Feel free to send me questions or post them as comments to this post. Continue reading →
Exelixis (EXEL) is starting to recuperate after last year’s clash with the FDA regarding a registration trial for its lead agent, cabozantinib (cabo), in prostate cancer. The company, which still sticks to its original plan of conducting a phase III trial using pain as a primary endpoint, is expected to announce it has enrolled the first patient in the study in the coming weeks. The trial will enroll 250 patients with bone metastases who are suffering from cancer associated pain and will evaluate cabo’s effect on bone scans and pain. Continue reading →
Dendreon’s (DNDN) recent meltdown already sent shockwaves throughout the entire biotech arena but one segment which could suffer the most is cancer vaccine companies. Dendreon’s Provenge, the first and only cancer vaccine approved by the FDA, made cancer immunotherapy very popular in the eyes of investors, who were looking for the next Dendreon among the tens of clinical stage cancer vaccine companies.
One of the questions I am frequently asked is whether there are any good oncology drugs out there which are still available for partnering. The past years saw a surge in licensing and M&A deals, however, there are still several high quality assets out there being developed independently by small or mid cap biotechs. Below are ten companies with promising wholly-owned development stage programs, in alphabetical order.
Last week, Incyte (INCY) sold over $130M worth of stock and $400M worth of convertible debt in an effort to solve its balance sheet issues. Thanks to the stronger cash position, the company can finally be evaluated based on its promising pipeline rather than its capital structure. More importantly, it will be able to complete a series of business development deals and focus on becoming a commercial stage company.
Last month at the ASCO meeting, Curagen (CRGN) presented results for its lead drug, CR-011, in breast cancer and melanoma patients. CR011 had activity in both indications, however, most of the drug’s value should be ascribed to the breast cancer program, which represents a huge commercial opportunity and better chances of approval.
As I previously wrote, the significance of the breast cancer trial is not only in the clinical activity of CR-011, but more importantly, the ability to identify patients who are likely to respond to the drug. By defining the right target population, Curagen could substantially improve chances of approval, shorten development time and enjoy high market acceptance. Continue reading →