This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Exelixis Preps For Thyroid Cancer Drug Approval

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Instead of speculating about whether or not U.S. regulators will approve Exelixis' (EXEL) drug cabozantinib for the treatment of medullary thyroid cancer later this week (we all believe approval is a layup, right?), let's instead discuss cabozantinib's potential brand names.

Personally, I like "Cabometyx," which is one of many drug brand names that Exelixis has trademarked, according to filings listed on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's web site.

Other possible cabozantinib brand-name contenders include Duazant, Cabmetyx, Cometzant, Cometrik, Cometrix or Kometrik/Kometrix.

Whichever brand name Exelixis chooses for cabozantinib, the approval isn't expected to have much of a lasting impact on the company's stock price outside of an intraday trading pop.

Exelixis shares were flat at $5.27 in early Monday trading. The FDA's approval decision on cabozantinib is expected on or before Thursday, Nov. 29.

Medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) is a rare form of thyroid cancer that is only diagnosed in about 2,800 U.S. patients each year, according to the American Cancer Society. But many MTC patients are treated surgically and therefore wouldn't require drugs like cabozantinib.

Exelixis hasn't offered specific revenue guidance for cabozantinib in MTC but management has tried to soft-pedal investor expectations about the small commercial opportunity. Analysts, who tend to over-estimate market potential, particularly before a drug is approved and launched, see peak MTC sales of about $100 million for cabozantinib.

With a market cap already approaching $1 billion, cabozantinib sales in MTC are well baked into Exelixis' stock price.

Exelixis sees the initial MTC indication for cabozantinib as only a starting point. The company's real focus is developing the drug for larger and more commercially lucrative cancer indications, most notably prostate cancer, kidney cancer and liver cancer. A twin-set of phase III studies in prostate cancer are underway with results expected in 2014.

Once cabozantinib is approved for MTC, doctors will be free to use the drug "off label" for other cancers. Exelixis cannot market or promote the drug for use in other cancers, but the company does intend to seek compendia listings for cabozantinib that will include on-label and off-label uses for the drug. Private insurance companies and Medicare use compendia listings to set reimbursement coverage for cancer drugs.
1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
EXEL $4.67 -3.11%
AAPL $95.18 1.64%
FB $117.43 -0.96%
GOOG $692.36 -0.84%
TSLA $232.32 -3.92%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,750.91 -140.25 -0.78%
S&P 500 2,063.37 -18.06 -0.87%
NASDAQ 4,763.2240 -54.37 -1.13%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs