Biotech Stock Mailbag: Genta Takes Another Stab
As Joan indicated, Genta is taking a different, more targeted approach this time around. After digging around in the old phase III study, Genta says it found a subset of melanoma patients with low levels of LDH, a blood enzyme, who appeared to live longer after treatment with Genasense. Conversely, patients with elevated levels of LDH were not helped at all by Genasense.
It's widely believed that melanoma patients with elevated LDH levels tend to have a worse disease prognosis, including shorter survival times.
Genta dug even deeper into these Genasense patients with lower LDH levels, eventually separating them into narrower subgroups defined by their specific LDH levels. What the company found was that patients with "low normal" LDH seemed to survive the longest after treatment with Genasense.
If there's a scientific rationale for why this is true, I didn't hear Warrell discuss it Wednesday. But the company decided to conduct a second, phase III study of Genasense, this time enrolling only patients with "low normal" LDH levels.The results of that study -- dubbed Agenda -- should be released in the fourth quarter. If the Genasense trial is a success, Genta will displace Vanda Pharmaceuticals (VNDA) as the most shocking, long shot of long shots winner in biotech this year. After all, Warrell is betting his company's survival on a pivotal study whose hypothesis was derived from a subgroup of a subgroup of a previously failed study. In other words, Genta data-mined a data-mined subset. Stunts like that are never supposed to work in biotech!
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
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.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
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.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV