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
Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS - See his portfolio and get alerts BEFORE every trade. Learn more NOW!

Biotech Stock Mailbag: Antares Pharma, NewLink, Celgene

Numbers? Jefferies analyst Corey Davis (a big Antares bull) forecasts $16 million in Otrexup U.S. sales in 2014, $43 million in 2015 and growing to peak sales of $190 million in 2022. Cut Davis' forecasts by one-third, at a minimum, to account for sell-side overreach.

Selling moderately improved and more expensive versions of generic drugs is not easy. Antares knows this better than anyone because its currently approved products Elestrin and Gelnique (sold through partners) have been commercially disappointing.

And it's not like investors have been ignoring Antares. The company's current market cap already exceeds $500 million.

Before 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.

3 of 4

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr 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

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

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!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
ATRS $2.65 0.00%
CELG $123.35 0.00%
GALE $1.83 0.00%
NWBO $7.46 0.00%
NLNK $42.13 0.00%

Markets

DOW 18,214.42 -10.15 -0.06%
S&P 500 2,110.74 -3.12 -0.15%
NASDAQ 4,987.89 +20.7530 0.42%

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