This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
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
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

CancerVax Ends Canvaxin Research

Updated from Oct. 3

Another round of disappointing clinical trial data has led CancerVax (CNVX) and Serono (SRA) to abandon research on a treatment for malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

The companies made the announcement Monday after the markets had closed, saying an independent data and safety monitoring board recommended halting testing on the drug Canvaxin.

"The data are unlikely to provide significant evidence of an overall survival benefit for patients" taking Canvaxin vs. those getting a placebo, the companies said.

The results also prompted CancerVax to say it would cut payroll by more than half to roughly 80 employees from 183.

In early trading Tuesday, CancerVax's stock plunged $1.30, or 44.5%, to $1.62 and well below the 52-week low of $2.70. In less than 30 minutes after the opening bell, nearly 850,000 CancerVax shares had been traded, or more than 17 times the average daily trade for the last three months.

Shares of Serono were off 15 cents, or 0.9%, to $16.35.

"This news is particularly disappointing because we understand the devastating impact of this disease on patients with advanced-stage melanoma, as well as their families and friends," said David F. Hale, president and CEO of Carlsbad, Calif.-based CancerVax, in a prepared statement. His company licensed Canvaxin to Serono, of Geneva, Switzerland.

Hale said the workforce reduction "will allow us to focus our resources on the development of the other product candidates in our pipeline and, potentially, to explore the acquisition of additional promising products and technologies. We will continue to review our resource requirements as we refine our strategies over the coming weeks."

CancerVax said it would discontinue all work on Canvaxin, which suffered its second clinical research defeat in six months. In April, the companies reported no significant difference between Canvaxin and a placebo for people with the most advanced form of melanoma. At the time, they said they were still assessing whether Canvaxin would help Stage III cancer patients.

Although the companies announced the test results one hour after the markets had closed, CancerVax's stock started falling sharply Monday about 90 minutes before the closing bell.

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

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
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

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

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, 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
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs