This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
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

Erbitux Has Expanded Potential

This is a bonus story from Adam Feuerstein, whose biotech coverage usually runs only on RealMoney . We're offering it today to TheStreet.com readers. To read Adam's commentary every day, click here for information on a free trial to RealMoney.

NEW ORLEANS -- ImClone Systems' (IMCL) cancer drug Erbitux, when added to radiation therapy, nearly doubles survival for patients with advanced head and neck cancer, according to results from a phase III study made public Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (also known as ASCO).

It's not yet clear whether the positive data from this study will prompt ImClone and partner Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY - Get Report) to seek an expansion of Erbitux's label from the Food and Drug Administration. But the fact that Erbitux appears to help some patients with head and neck cancer live longer -- the most important test of a cancer drug's efficacy, generally speaking -- will likely convince oncologists to begin using the drug "off label" to treat this form of cancer. Erbitux is already approved and marketed as a treatment for advanced colon cancer.

There are about 40,000 people in the U.S. diagnosed each year with head and neck cancer. Of these, about 30% are currently treated with radiation alone and would therefore be candidates for the addition of Erbitux, according to a recent survey from investment bank SG Cowen. This equates to a $150 million market opportunity for ImClone, estimates Cowen, adding that sales could quadruple if doctors use Erbitux more broadly in head and neck cancer, just as they have started to do in colon cancer. (Cowen doesn't have an investment banking relationship with ImClone.)

The 424 patients enrolled in this phase III study were all diagnosed with advanced head and neck cancer that had not yet spread, or metastasized, to other parts of the body. About half the patients were treated with a combination of high-dose radiation plus Erbitux, the remaining half with high-dose radiation alone.

Patients receiving radiation and Erbitux had a median survival of 54 months, compared to a median survival of 28 months for patients receiving radiation alone. These results were statistically significant.
1 of 3

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
Options Profits

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

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
BMY $60.10 -1.20%
IMCL $2.00 53.85%
AAPL $112.61 -0.27%
FB $90.56 0.92%
GOOG $627.47 -1.60%

Markets

Chart of I:DJI
DOW 16,587.22 -67.55 -0.41%
S&P 500 1,981.09 -6.57 -0.33%
NASDAQ 4,805.1710 -7.5370 -0.16%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs