This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
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
TheStreet Open House

Biotech Stock Mailbag: NuPathe

Stocks in this article: PATHNWBO.OBEXELYMIINCYTLON.OBTKMR

The '387 data I saw at ASCO looked compelling, even with the acknowledgement that crucial questions about the drug's efficacy and safety remain unanswered. And YM's valuation is definitely more attractive than what investors are paying to own Incyte (INCY) today, even if the latter's competing myelofibrosis drug is a few years ahead.

@trevor_McMullan tweets, "Can you look into the deaths for the Exelixis (EXEL) drug? Even cancer patients don't want a drug that could kill them."

That's true, but remember, the biggest worry that these patients carry with them is that their cancer is going to kill them. When thinking about the risk-benefit of cancer drugs, don't forget that a higher level of safety risk is tolerated because cancer is a killer.

Exelixis enrolled 490 patients in the phase II study of cabozantinib. Six patients, or 1%, died for reasons that investigators said were related to the drug and not their underlying cancer. Three of the six patients died due to perforations or bleeding in their gastrointestinal tract. This is a well-understood side effect for drugs like cabozantinib that work (in part) by blocking a protein known as VEGFR2. Roche's blockbuster cancer drug Avastin works similarly and patient deaths due to gastrointestinal perforations, while sad and unfortunate, are an accepted safety risk.

The positive buzz over cabozantinib's ability to clear bone lesions in cancer patients is tempered by the drug's relatively high side-effect profile, which forces a majority of patients into dose reductions. With that said, the doctors presenting the cabozantinib data at this year's ASCO meeting said the drug's toxicities were manageable, and no worse than what's seen in other targeted cancer drugs.

While I do think the concern over the patient deaths in the phase II cabozantinib study is overblown, I'm not naive enough to believe that this issue is going away any time soon. The next significant clinical update on cabozantinib will come next quarter when Exelixis announces top-line results from the phase III study in medullary thyroid cancer. Keep in mind, however, that patients in this thyroid cancer study were dosed with 175 mg of cabozantinib, which is higher than the 100 mg dose used in the phase II study presented at ASCO.

Don't forget: The Biotech Stock Mailbag Live Chat, today at 12 p.m. ET.

--Written by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.



>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Adam Feuerstein.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/adamfeuerstein.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

Adam Feuerstein writes regularly for TheStreet. In keeping with company editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in TheStreet. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Feuerstein appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.
4 of 4

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
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 16,677.90 +216.58 1.32%
S&P 500 1,950.82 +23.71 1.23%
NASDAQ 4,452.7920 +69.9450 1.60%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • 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