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!

Update: Perfect FDA Drug Approval Pickers

Stocks in this article: ALKS ARNA JAZZ ALXA BIOD AMLN AVNR

Editor's Note: In response to reader demand, the story has been updated with a chart highlighting the drug approval predictions of the contest's leading contestants to date.

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Meet the five smartest drug approval prognosticators in the land -- so far:

BigHerm, BioTrekker, Barca Boy, Joe and RJMCanoe have all correctly predicted the outcomes of the first five FDA drug approvals decisions in October. In doing so, these contestants sit atop the leaderboard of TheStreet's first-ever FDA Drug-Approval Contest.

Well done.

These five contestants have the only 5-0 records out of 95 entries to the contest, so being perfect is no small feat.

Being a drug-approval skeptic appears to be the winning strategy so far. On Tuesday, the FDA approved Alkermes' (ALKS) opioid addiction drug, but the agency has also refused to approve new drugs from Hospira (HSP), Human Genome Sciences (HGSI), Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ) and Alexza Pharmaceuticals (ALXA).

BigHerm, BioTrekker, Barca Boy, Joe and RJMCanoe can revel in their audacious accomplishments for now, but don't get too comfortable because this drug-approval contest is far from over. The FDA will be making another six drug approval decisions before the end of October.

That leaves plenty of time to screw up, and there are another 19 contestants with 4-1 records nipping at the leaders' heels.

One contestant who, sadly, won't likely compete for the top spot of the contest is NS, who has managed perfection of a more dubious sort. NS is the only person to guess wrong on all five FDA drug approvals to date -- a 0-5 record.

NS is a perfect contrarian indicator so far, but there is still time for improvement. Keep that chin up, NS.

It's also interesting to the note the wisdom of the crowd. When looking collectively at the 95 entries, the accuracy rate for drug approval predictions so far is 80%. As a group, contestants correctly predicted the outcomes for Alkermes, Jazz, Human Genome and Alexza. The only wrong guess so far was Hospira.

The true test of the crowd's wisdom will come later this month when the FDA announces approval decisions for drugs from Avanir Pharmaceuticals (AVNR) and Biodel (BIOD).

Forty-three percent of contestants say Avanir gets full approval, while 37% are predicting a complete response letter and another 20% says no decision.

For Biodel, 24% predict full approval, 57% predict a complete response letter and 19% say no decision.

As for my performance to date, I'm sitting in the middle of the pack with a 3-2 record. My biggest mistake has been under-estimating the efficiency of the FDA. I guessed "no decision" for both Hospira and Alexza, thinking that FDA would have to kick some of these drug approval decisions down the road given the agency's heavy workload this month.

1 of 2

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 18,053.71 +23.50 0.13%
S&P 500 2,088.77 +6.89 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,806.8590 +33.3870 0.70%

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