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 Stock Mailbag: Oncolytics, Sarepta, Delcath, Peregrine

Stocks in this article: ONCY SRPT PPHM DCTH

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Forgive me, for I have sinned. It's been three weeks since my last Biotech Stock Mailbag. Vacation is over, so let's get back to your questions.

Richard G. asks, "Your take on biotech Oncolytics Biotech (ONCY)?"

Oncolytics is conducting a two-stage, randomized phase III study of a cancer-killing virus, Reolysin, in combination with the chemotherapy backbone paclitaxel and carboplatin (versus the chemo backbone alone) in patients with platinum-refractory head-and-neck cancer.

Results from stage one of the Reolysin study are expected any day, if they aren't overdue already. Enrollment of the first 80 patients in stage one was concluded in early April, with all patients on the drug and evaluable for 12-week scans by the middle to end of June. It's reasonable, therefore, for Oncolytics to have progression-free survival (PFS) data available for release in August. With the end of the month almost upon us, the clock is ticking.

Predicting the outcome of the Reolysin phase III study is exceedingly difficult because there just isn't much prior data on the drug to look at. Oncolytics conducted a couple of small single-arm (uncontrolled) studies of Reolysin plus paclitaxel-carboplatin in head-and-neck cancer patients previously with reported response rates in the 31% to 33% range. The mean overall survival from one of the phase II studies (24 patients) was eight months; survival in the other study (14 patients) was never reported. Again, without a control arm for comparison, the survival data from these earlier Reolysin studies is impossible to interpret.

While it's hard to be optimistic about Reolysin, there are ample reasons to be cautious. Oncolytics took more than a year longer than expected to enroll 80 head-and-neck cancer patients into stage one of the phase III study. The company blamed strict enrollment criteria for the delay but a lack of interest or confidence in Reolysin among doctors and enrolling centers could also have played a factor.

The idea of using viruses -- either modified or unmodified -- to infect and kill cancer has been around for a long time but has never succeeded in late-stage clinical trials. Reolysin is an unmodified, naturally occurring virus believed to have a preference for replicating inside of -- and killing -- cancer cells.

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 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

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