This Day On The Street
Continue to site
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

ASCO '12 Abstract Dump: Cancer Stocks in Focus

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Investors got their first look at thousands of cancer drug research abstracts released Wednesday night by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in advance of its closely watched annual meeting.

Among the most significant cancer drug data unveiled for the first time Wednesday night came from phase III studies conducted by Aveo Pharmaceuticals (AVEO - Get Report) and Exelixis (EXEL), and randomized phase II studies of drugs discovered by Array BioPharma (ARRY - Get Report).

New disclosures of cancer drug data were also made available from Arqule (ARQL), Ariad Pharmaceuticals (ARIA), Pharmacyclics (PCYC), Onyx Pharmaceuticals (ONXX) and Seattle Genetics (SGEN - Get Report), among many others.

The ASCO annual meeting runs June 1-5 and brings together cancer drug researchers from all over the world to discuss and present new clinical data aimed at treating -- and maybe one day curing -- cancer. Wednesday's release of research abstracts -- short, preliminary summaries of efficacy and safety data from cancer drug clinical trials -- serves as a warm-up for the big event next month.

The ASCO abstract release is also a closely watched event for Wall Street because the revelation of new cancer drug data often has a significant effect on biotech and drug stocks. Trading volatility can ramp up significantly for many of the so-called "ASCO stocks" -- particularly small-cap biotech stocks -- in the weeks before the ASCO confab gets started.

While investors were flooded with new cancer drug data Wednesday, ASCO did hold back some of the some important and potentially stock-moving research for a more high-profile release at the meeting itself. Key cancer drug data that remains under wrap include results from a phase III study of Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) Zytiga in "pre-chemo" prostate cancer patients; a phase III study of Bayer and Onyx's regorafenib in advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumors; several Roche/Genentech (RHHBY) studies, including Avastin in ovarian cancer and TDM-1 in breast cancer (partnered with Immunogen (IMGN)); melanoma data from GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) targeted drug dabrefenib; and a new targeted PD-1 immunotherapy from Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY).

The following pages summarize new and important cancer drug data released tonight by ASCO from research abstracts for its upcoming annual meeting.

Array BioPharma

What we already know: Last September, Array partner AstraZeneca (AZN) announced top-line results from a phase II non-small cell lung cancer study of selumetinib, in which the combination of selumetinib plus docetaxel demonstrated a "numerically greater increase" in survival compared to docetaxel alone. Patients in the study had non-small cell lung cancer with a mutation in the KRAS gene, which makes the tumors harder to treat.

What's new in the ASCO abstracts: Median overall survival in the selumetinib/docetaxel arm was 9.4 months compared to 5.2 months for docetaxel alone -- a difference of 4.2 months but not statistically significant. Response rate (37% vs. 0%) and progression-free survival (5.3 months vs. 2.1 months) both favored selumetinib/docetaxel over docetaxel alone with statistical significance. (Abstract No. 7503)

Additional ASCO abstracts of note: Take a look at Abstract No. 8511, which reports on early results of a phase II study investigating MEK162 in patients with cutaneous melanoma harboring one of two genetic mutations: BRAFV600 or NRAS. MEK162 is a drug developed by Array and licensed to Novartis (NVS). Among 29 BRAF-mutant melanoma patients treated with MEK162, there were 1 confirmed and 6 unconfirmed partial responses and 9 patients with stable disease. Among 13 NRAS mutant patients, there were 2 confirmed and 1 unconfirmed partial responses and 4 patients with stable disease.
1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

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
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

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
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
PCYC $0.00 0.00%
ARRY $3.19 0.00%
AVEO $0.93 0.00%
EXEL $4.61 0.00%
SGEN $35.48 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,773.64 -57.12 -0.32%
S&P 500 2,065.30 -10.51 -0.51%
NASDAQ 4,775.3580 -29.9330 -0.62%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs