Lisa H. asks: "What is your outlook for Threshold Pharmaceuticals (THLD) in pancreatic cancer now that Celgene (CELG) has underwhelmed with Abraxane results? I think this is good for Threshold. Do you agree? Appreciate your response."
Celgene left the door open for a competing pancreatic cancer drug or regimen, so that's a plus for Threshold. Were the Abraxane data underwhelming? I don't think that's necessarily true.
As reported Tuesday, Abraxane plus gemcitabine yielded a median overall survival of 8.5 months compared to 6.7 months for gemcitabine alone -- a 1.8-month or 8-week survival benefit that was highly statistically significant. The result was either in line or on the low end of expectations, depending on whom you talk to.
Median overall survival is easy to understand, but it's not the best way to measure a cancer drug's overall efficacy. Median means middle, so with median overall survival, you're getting a snapshot from a small slice of patients enrolled in the study.Better to look at the study's hazard ratio, which compares the benefit of an experimental drug to its control over the entire trial. A hazard ratio of 1 in a survival trial means no benefit for a drug over its control. Overall survival is the same. What you're looking for is a hazard ratio less than 1, with a smaller hazard ratio equating to a larger survival benefit. The overall survival hazard ratio in Celgene's Abraxane pancreatic cancer trial is 0.72. There's nothing underwhelming about that result.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
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.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
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.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV