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
$1 buys you full access to ALL of TheStreet's Subscription Services! Learn More

Why Northwest Bio's DCVax Brain Tumor Vaccine Will Blow Up Just Like ImmunoCellular's ICT-107

Stocks in this article: NWBOIMUC

Let's squash this silly notion that the blowup of ImmunoCellular Therapeutics'  (IMUC) dendritic brain tumor vaccine last week is an isolated incident without negative consequences for Northwest Biotherapeutics  (NWBO) and its nearly identical dendritic brain tumor vaccine. 

I hate to break the bad news to Seeking Alpha contributor Josh Ginsburg, but Northwest's DCVax is not different from ImmunoCellular's ICT-107. DCVax will fail just like ICT-107 failed because dendritic cancer vaccines are too weak to overcome cancer's innate ability to overpower or evade the body's immune system. 

The scientific community and most of Wall Street know this and have moved on from dendritic cancer vaccines. Today's buzz is antibody-based cancer immunotherapy -- the PD-1s and PDL-1s of Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), Merck (MRK), Roche (ROG) and others which are showing incredible results in large clinical trials. A bit farther back but no less exciting is the work being done by academic researchers and Novartis  (NVS) with engineered T cells -- so-called CAR-T immunotherapy.

Last February, I explained in great detail why data from two early studies of Northwest Bio's DCVax in patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) were sloppy, wrong and wildly misleading. Twenty GBM patients were handpicked for treatment with DCVax in these two phase I studies, so of course they outperformed expectations. The median progression-free survival of 26 months and median overall survival of 36 months touted by Northwest Bio as evidence of DCVax efficacy are not real. These DCVax data are a mirage which will vanish once Northwest Bio stops issuing endless promotional press releases and finally gets around to analyzing the much larger phase III study.

Seeking Alpha's Larry "Smith on Stocks" Smith was wrong about Northwest Bio last February and he's still wrong today when he whistles past ImmunoCellular's graveyard.

The bull thesis on ImmunoCellular's ICT-107 was also based on super-duper data from a small phase I study. Sixteen patients with newly diagnosed GBM were treated with ICT-107 at the prestigious Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The results were reportedly spectacular, including median overall survival of more than 38 months. Some ICT-107 patients were still alive five years after treatment. Historically, similar GBM patients enrolled in other, larger clinical trials only lived an average about 18 months, therefore ICT-107 be responsible for the prolonged survival benefit. 

Um... no. Last week, ImmunoCellular announced negative results from its 124-patient phase II study of ICT-107 in GBM patients. Sure enough, the GBM patients treated with placebo lived about 18 months, as expected. The patients treated with ICT-107 survived only two months longer, on average.

What happened to the 38-month median overall survival data from the phase I study of ICT-107? Poof! Gone. A fantasy. 

Don't expect any better outcome from Northwest Bio's DCVax. 





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!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
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 17,810.06 +91.06 0.51%
S&P 500 2,063.50 +10.75 0.52%
NASDAQ 4,712.97 +11.1030 0.24%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • 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