By: Adam Feuerstein | 01/24/14 - 11:49 AM ESTProvectus Pharmaceuticals (PVCT: Pink Sheets) responded to my column about the obsolescence of its skin cancer drug PV-10 with a "letter to the editor" which was also filed as an 8-K.
Read Provectus' letter closely. It's a non-denial denial which fails to address any of the concerns and questions raised in my column. Provectus executives refuse to explain the delay in starting the phase III study of PV-10 in metastatic melanoma. As I reported, it's been two years since the company told investors that it had completed meetings with FDA and was ready to seek a Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) for the PV-10 phase III study. If PV-10 is such a promising skin-cancer drug, why has Provectus been unable or unwilling to move the drug into a phase III study, as promised?
Provectus also refuses to explain what made the latest meeting with FDA, held Dec. 18, necessary. The company claims an accelerated approval of PV-10 or Breakthrough Therapy designation is being considered. But on what substantive basis? As I reported, the only clinical study conducted with PV-10 in melanoma was completed four years ago and enrolled 80 patients. Does Provectus really expect FDA to consider this tiny study sufficient for an accelerated approval review? How so? Provectus won't say, which speaks volumes.
Let's talk about the Moffitt Cancer Center, which Provectus points to as external validation of PV-10. In its letter Friday, Provectus says this:
Also, counter to Mr. Feuerstein's claim, the Company furnished a great deal of pertinent information through its independent press agent (not spokesperson) Bill Gordon that he failed to include in his article... One announcement, issued by Moffitt Cancer Center on August 22, 2013, highlights how early clinical trials show PV-10 can boost immune response in melanoma tumors, as well as the blood stream.
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