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
TheStreet Open House

Why This Fund Manager Is Short Ziopharm

Stocks in this article: ZIOP CLVS ELN CLSN

Are there data to support the bear thesis? As proof, my fund manager source points to the slide reprinted below, which depicts PFS from both arms of the phase II study. This slide can be found on page 17 of the protocol for the palifosfamide phase III study.

The blue line tracks PFS for the sarcoma patients in the control arm treated with doxorubicin alone. Focus on the sudden and steep drop in the curve between one and two months. Each red asterisk represents a patient who progressed. Between months one and two, eight patients in this control arm progressed very rapidly. That's unusual. Without those eight early and rapid tumor progressions, the two PFS curves would be much closer together. In fact, they might even overlap, which would mean no significant difference in PFS between the two treatment arms and no positive data for palifosfamide.

What might explain the eight early and rapid tumor progressions between months one and two in the trial? Well, it could be just the way the randomization worked out in the trial. Or, it could be a result of physician bias. The phase II study was open label, which means patients were aware if they were chosen to receive palifosfamide or not. The doctors of those patients knew, too. Obviously, no sarcoma patients entered this trial hoping to be placed in the control arm receiving doxorubicin alone. Doctors likely felt the same way for their patients, so when it came time to analyze scans, they could have been quick to diagnose a tumor progression so patients could switch to new treatments, including palifosfamide.

Unlike the phase II study, the phase III study is blinded to patients and doctors. No one will know who is receiving palifosfamide and who is not. This eliminates the potential for bias. Moreover, independent experts -- not the doctors treating patients -- will be reading and confirmed tumor progression scans.

That explains why the doxorubicin arm of the phase III study will likely perform better than what was observed in the phase II study. The palifosfamide-doxorubicin arm is also expected to perform worse.

2 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

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
Stocks Under $10

Jim Cramer's protégé, 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
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

Jim Cramer's protégé, 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
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
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 17,416.85 +225.48 1.31%
S&P 500 2,021.25 +19.09 0.95%
NASDAQ 4,683.4070 +45.4130 0.98%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

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