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Biotech Update: Exelixis, Oculus, Medarex, Flamel

I hope no one minds me taking a short victory lap over my story this week about the American Society of Clinical Oncology's decision (finally!) to post online its annual meeting research abstracts, making them accessible to everyone.

No more selective disclosure. No more ASCO data leaks.

I started writing about the inequities of ASCO's abstract disclosure policy six years ago. My media credentials for the 2001 ASCO annual meeting were yanked because of those first stories, but I kept at it. (You can read some vintage Feuerstein here and here .)

I've been a pit bull on this story ever since, so it was more than a bit gratifying to see ASCO change course. A lot of credit goes to ASCO leadership for finally getting it right, but if you don't mind, I'll pat myself on the back, too. Just a bit.

Here's an update on Exelixis (EXEL), but first a reminder on my company thesis: It has lots of cancer drugs in the pipeline, all going after "sexy" anticancer molecular targets. It also has a partnership with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). I'd expect some clinical failures and setbacks, which can be seen as potential buying opportunities. Exelixis needs only one or two pipeline drugs to hit for the stock to work.

Now, the update: Phase II data on Exelixis' XL880 in papillary renal cell cancer patients was OK, not spectacular. Of 19 evaluable patients, there was one with a partial response, 14 others with stable disease, although some of those tumor-growth stoppages were quite long.

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