This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
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!

Peregrine Pharma Is Wasting Money On A Placebo Cancer Drug

Stocks in this article: PPHM CELG

TUSTIN, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (PPHM) disclosed new pancreatic cancer study results Wednesday showing its cancer drug bavituximab behaves very much like a placebo.

In a phase II study of 70 patients with advanced pancreatic cancer, the combination of bavituximab and gemcitabine prolonged survival by just 12 days over gemcitabine alone. Peregrine didn't disclose a p value for the survival analysis, so assume it was large and definitely not statistically significant.

Neither the 5.8 month median overall survival in the bavituximab-gemcitabine arm of Peregrine's phase II study nor 5.2 months in the gemcitabine arm was any better than the historical 5-6 month survival typically seen when pancreatic cancer patients are treated with gemcitabine alone.

In Celgene's (CELG) recent phase III study, which enrolled more than 800 patients, the combination of Abraxane plus gemcitabine yielded a median overall survival of 8.5 months compared to 6.7 months for gemcitabine alone.

Overall survival was the primary endpoint of the bavituximab pancreatic cancer study, which dulls the clinical meaning of the response rate benefit touting by Peregrine in Wednesday's press release.

Patients treated with bavituximab-gemcitabine had a 28% tumor response rate compared to 13% for patients treated with gemcitabine alone. Peregrine fails to note if the response rate difference was statistically significant, or if response rates were confirmed by independent review.

Peregrine has a habit of releasing unverified response rate data from bavituximab studies, only to see those response rates nullified by independent review.

And of course, Peregrine's credibility was shot when it was forced to rescind last year's bavituximab lung cancer data due to improper study conduct.

In a statement Wednesday, Peregrine said it hoped to find subsets of pancreatic cancer patients where bavituximab may work better. Data mining negative study results is the last bastion of hope for desperate drug developers.

-- Reported by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.

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.

Select the service that is right for you!

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!


DOW 17,778.15 +421.28 2.43%
S&P 500 2,061.23 +48.34 2.40%
NASDAQ 4,748.3960 +104.0840 2.24%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • 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