@adamfeuerstein @BioRunUp any thoughts on $NLNK— OddStockTrader (@OddStockTrader) June 22, 2013Before I address a specific question about NewLink Genetics (NLNK - Get Report), I want to lay down a bifurcated position on cancer immunotherapy in general. Position No. 1: Until I see convincing evidence of efficacy (successful phase III studies, FDA approvals) I am extremely skeptical of any company taking the "vaccine" approach to targeting cancer cells. I define a cancer vaccine as any therapy made up of tumor cells (autologous or patient specific), antigens or other immune-boosting agents designed to provoke the body's immune system to mount an attack on specific types of cancer cells. Who's in this cancer vaccine group? Dendreon (DNDN), of course. Provenge is approved, but it's a fluke and a commercial disappointment. The list of companies with failed cancer vaccines is much longer -- Cell Genesys, Genitope, Favrille, Oncothyreon (ONTY), Antigenics (AGEN), CancerVax, etc. Despite a lot of convincing evidence debunking the vaccine approach to cancer immunotherapy, tiny biotech companies push ahead -- NewLink, Galena Biopharma (GALE - Get Report), Vical (VICL), Northwest Biotherapeutics (NWBO), ImmunoCellular Therapeutics (IMUC). I'm not a believer. I'll be happy to admit my error if/when one of these companies produces boffo clinical data. I just don't see that happening anytime soon. Position No. 2: The anti-PD1/PDL1 approach to cancer immunotherapy works. These therapies turn off a cloaking device used by cancer cells to hide from a patient's immune system. One way cancer cells grow is by donning molecular camouflage which tricks the immune system into thinking they're normal, healthy cells. The anti-PD1/PDL1 (and anti-CTLA4) drugs turn off cancer's cloaking device. Without the protective camo, the immune system attacks cancer cells as foreign and deadly.
Biotech Stock Mailbag: Antares Pharma, NewLink, Celgene
Check Out Our Best Services for Investors
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
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
- Model portfolio
- Stocks trading below $10
- Intraday trade alerts
More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.