This Day On The Street
Continue to site
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

Biotech Stock Mailbag: Agenus, Aegerion, Ariad

The GBM patients eligible for Agenus' Prophage study all had prior surgical resection of their tumors that was no less than 90% complete. By comparison, only 39% of patients enrolled in the Stupp study had complete tumor resection.

A later analysis of the Stupp study was published just looking at patients with complete tumor resection. The median overall survival for these patients was almost 19 months, very similar to the Prophage results, especially after factoring in the relative size of these studies. Agenus enrolled 46 patients in its phase II study while the Stupp study enrolled 573 patients, including 226 patients with complete tumor resection.

In a larger, controlled phase III study, that 23.3-month median overall survival for Prophage will undoubtedly fall.

In his Seeking Alpha story, Smith takes dubious cross-trial comparisons to another level by looking at two studies of Avastin in newly diagnosed GBM patients conducted by Roche (RHHBY). The control arm in both studies was the current standard of care -- radiation and temozolomide -- with median overall survival of 16 months and 17 months, respectively.

Once again, Prophage looks better, but it's an illusion. As with Stupp, the GBM patients enrolled by Roche in its studies were generally sicker than those enrolled by Agenus. Fifty-nine percent and 42% of patients treated with standard of care entered the study with complete tumor resections.

Agenus intends to meet with the FDA so that it can move ahead with a phase III study of Prophage in newly diagnosed GBM patients. As I've shown, the clinical evidence supporting this effort is dubious, at best. But this is biotech, where it's often more important to have a drug in phase III trials than it is for that drug to have any chance of success.

That's particularly true for a company like Agenus, where raising cash is mission number one.

Investor concerns that cholesterol-lowering PCSK9 drugs, including one under development by Amgen (AMGN - Get Report), will eat into the market share and revenue generated by Aegerion Pharmaceuticals' (AEGR - Get Report) Juxtapid have resurfaced over the past week or so. The result: volatility in Aegerion's stock price. Shares hit $97 on Sept. 10 but fell to $84 on Sept. 18. The stock was rebounding Thursday as some analysts came to Aegerion's defense.
2 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
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
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
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
ARIA $7.91 0.00%
AMGN $153.26 0.00%
AGEN $8.61 0.00%
AEGR $18.59 0.00%
AAPL $126.44 0.00%

Markets

DOW 17,730.11 -27.80 -0.16%
S&P 500 2,076.78 -0.64 -0.03%
NASDAQ 5,009.2140 -3.9090 -0.08%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs