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
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Biotech Data Mining Comes Up Empty

Stocks in this article: APRI CVM CTIC OSIR AGEN TDLP.PK

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- I've long warned investors to be wary of companies that use dubious scientific analysis to spin positive results from what are really failed clinical trials.

Call it post-hoc data mining or retrospective data dredging, but by either name, the purpose of these all-too-common tactics is usually to deflect investors' attention away from bad news.

Apricus Biosciences (APRI) and Cel-Sci (CVM) issued separate press releases in the past week which relied heavily on post-hoc data mining to hype the prospects of experimental -- and deeply flawed -- drugs in their respective pipelines. Knowing how to spot the red flags in these types of announcements can save you a lot of pain and losses down the road.

The headline on Apricus' announcement set off alarm bells immediately: "Apricus Biosciences Reports Reanalysis of Its U.S. Phase III Trials for MycoVa Showing Drug is Effective in Mycological Cure Resulting in Eradication of Nail Fungus." Emphasis mine.

Re-analysis? What happened to the first analysis of the phase III trials of MycoVa?

Apricus doesn't say, but Google and SEC filings are a big help. In August 2008, Apricus (then known as NexMed) announced that its partner Novartis decided against seeking U.S. approval for MycoVa (then known as NM100060) based on disappointing results from two double blind, placebo-controlled phase III clinical trials.

One year later, in July 2009, Apricus/NexMed announced that Novartis was terminating its partnership for NM100060/MycoVa based on results from a third phase III study which compared MycoVa to Loceryl, a topical nail laquer marketed in Europe. This European phase III study failed although Apricus was spinning the results even back then, claiming that a "post hoc" analysis showed MycoVa worked better than Loceryl in patients with mild toenail fungus. Unfortunately for Apricus, the study enrolled patients with mild and moderate toenail fungus.

Three failed phase III studies, one dropped Big Pharma partnership and two years later, Apricus is trying to convince investors that there's life left in MycoVa. This time, Apricus claims that a re-analysis of the two U.S. clinical trials found MycoVa cures toenail fungus better than placebo in patients who do not also have athlete's foot.

1 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!

Markets

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 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