It's a reasonable argument to make, except, "If the earlier perifosine data are so good, why hasn't Keryx been bought out yet," asks Ratain.
When Ratain and I were working on our JNCI paper, we recognized that one reason micro-cap cancer drug stocks had a perfectly dismal record with phase III trials is because the drugs being developed had already been vetted by both the market (i.e., investors) and larger, more successful cancer drug companies and found to have a low probability of success.
Cancer drugs are scarce and valuable commodities. Larger drug companies are way more likely to acquire, or at least partner with, a smaller drug company if that smaller company has a cancer drug in development with a strong shot at being successful.Keryx has already stated publicly that it hopes to attract a buyer for the company. Yet, as Keryx nears the end of its colon cancer phase III study, the company is still independent -- no perifosine buyer, no partner either.
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