BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Drug approval decisions garner big headlines, but savvy and successful biotech investors know that making smart trading decisions ahead of important clinical trial results is the ticket to banking serious coin.
The market value of Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) has jumped by $5 billion in the past three weeks based solely on positive, interim results from a phase II cystic fibrosis trial. That stands in stark contrast to Vertex's falling stock price following the approval of its hepatitis C drug Incivek.
Only in biotech can a single event like the announcement of new clinical data lead to such incredible and immediate profits for investors. Like the lottery slogan says, "You have to be in it, to win it," which for biotech investors and traders means knowing in advance the companies conducting important clinical trials and when to expect the announcement of results.
To kick-start the research process, I've compiled a list of 21 drugs and a single diagnostic test currently involved in phase II and phase III trials. Importantly, results from these clinical trials are all expected before the end of the year.
Drug/indication: Pimavanserin in Parkinson's disease psychosis (phase III study)
Top-line results expected in the third quarter of 2012
The "020" trial compares pimavanserin against placebo in patients suffering from psychosis due to Parkinson's disease. The primary endpoint is the reduction in antipsychotic behavior measured using the Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms (SAPS).
Two previous phase III studies of pimavanserin in patients with Parkinson's psychosis failed to demonstrate a statistically significant benefit. The ongoing "020" study was designed to diminish the effect of a placebo response and produce data that are less subject to variability.
Amicus Therapeutics (FOLD)
Drug/indication: migalastat (Amigal) in Fabry disease
Top-line results expected in the third quarter 2012
"Study 011" compares migalastat to a placebo in patients with Fabry disease. A second phase III study "013" compares migalastat against current standard-of-care therapies for Fabry disease, Fabrazyme or Replagal.