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More Biotech Twitter Mailbag: Orexigen, Affymax, YM Bio, Spectrum & More

@gidra150: "Adam, how's the funding look for Aastrom, think they'll raise the capital?"

The phase III "Revive" study was initiated recently but there is no word yet on first patient enrolled," says an Aastrom Biosciences (ASTM) spokesman. Aastrom is sticking with its guidance of having the financing for the study completed this quarter.

@sstrella "Could you please cover $COYG for your next mailbag? Thanks :)"

You mean, "Come On You Gunners"? Har har… Admittedly, Arsenal beat up on my beloved Spurs in Saturday's North London derby but who's still in third place?

Oh when the Spurs come marching in….

@lk_101: "Any thoughts on $sppi earnings? Should i get in short before you write an article?"

You can't out-snark the king of snark, my friend. Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (SPPI) reports fourth-quarter 2011 results on Thursday, March 1. Current consensus has Spectrum earning 31 cents a share on total revenue of $52.7 million.

I don't know the precise revenue breakdown but investors, as always, will focus on Fusilev sales first, Zevalin second. In the third quarter, Fusilev sales totaled $41 million; Zevalin $7 million. [RBC Capital, one of five firms covering Spectrum, has fourth quarter Fusilev sales pegged at $45 million.]

Spectrum shares dipped temporarily in the middle of the month after Teva (TEVA) announced (via FDA's web site) that it expects a "limited resupply" of leucovorin by the end of March. Spectrum has played the leucovorin shortfall quite well so we'll see how Fusilev sales react if leucovorin supplies do increase later this year.

Longs have lorded over the shorts in Spectrun for quite some time, but shorts aren't going away. February short interest in the stock ticked up 16% month over month to 15.8 million shares.

@robpichardo: "Any insight on $CBLI as Israel/Iran heat up?"

Wow! Talk about speculative trading ideas… Sure, if Israel attacks Iran, triggering a nuclear event of some kind, then yes, Cleveland BioLabs (CBLI) (developers of a suspect anti-radiation drug) shares will rise once again, just like they did after the Japanese earthquake and tsunami severely damaged that country's nuclear power plants.

@EyePasta: "In the mailbag, please discuss Arena's chances in light of recent Vivus nod. Give the cancer stuff a rest though!! Non issue."

The positive Vivus FDA panel vote has no bearing on Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA) and its obesity drug lorcaserin. And no, tumor risk has not been put to rest, nor has the drug's potentially problematic cardiovascular safety profile. What Areniacs fail to recognize is that FDA reviews drugs based on a balance of risk and benefit. Lorcaserin's risks remain high, its benefit low. That's not a good place to be.

Also, please read Part 1 of today's Biotech Twitter Mailbag.

--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.

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Stock quotes in this article: OREX, AFFY, YMI, SPPI, ASTM, VVUS, CBLI, ARNA 
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.

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