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Biotech Stock Mailbag: Rexahn, Vertex, Peregrine, Sarepta

Stocks in this article: RNN VRTX SRPT ARNA PPHM

This blows Rexahn's claims of positive Archexin results out of the water. The 9.1-month median survival isn't real. Don't believe the data for a second.

@SCarolinaguy asks, "Of all the drugs approved or going through approval this year, which single one do you think will bring the most benefit to a patient?"

That's a really interesting question and one I don't think about often because I'm so focused on the investing, stock price, revenue potential, etc. side of things. It's also a difficult question to answer because benefit can be so subjective. Any drug that helps a patient is the most beneficial to them.

My choice for the most beneficial drug approved this year is Kalydeco, the cystic fibrosis drug developed by Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX). Kalydeco represents groundbreaking science that tackles the root cause of cystic fibrosis for the first time instead of just ameliorating the disease's symptoms. FDA approved Kalydeco in January.

I asked the Twitterverse to weigh in on their selection. Some people voted for eteplirsen, the Duchenne muscular dystrophy drug from Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT). A good choice but perhaps a bit premature since eteplirsen isn't approved yet and no one is really sure whether the data will allow Sarepta to file for early approval later this year.

Other nominees included Menhibrix, a meningococcal disease vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK); Vascepa, the lipid-lowering prescription fish-oil pill from Amarin (AMRN); and naturally (although undeservingly) the obesity pills Belviq and Qsymia from Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA) and Vivus (VVUS), respectively.

The question does allow for drugs are not yet approved buy may be before year's end. In this category, the blood-thinner Eliquis from Pfizer (PFE) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) deserves consideration, says one Twitter follower. "Not as dramatic a benefit as Kalydeco but affects many more patients. Warfarin is a b--ch," he says.

Am I missing a truly beneficial new drug approved this year? Let me know.

--Written by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.

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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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