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Telik, Biotech Pariah, Finally Died

Telik never recovered from hiding the premature deaths of ovarian cancer patients treated with its experimental drug Telcyta. Following the serious ethical lapse in 2007, Telik became a biotech pariah, ignored by scientists and investors. Telik's top executives, the husband-and-wife team Michael Wick and Gail Brown, spent the next seven years cashing paychecks paid for by long-gone shareholders. 

With the money finally gone, Telik is also disappearing. On Monday, the company announced a reverse merger with privately held Mabvax Therapeutics. When the deal closes, MabVax stockholders will own 85% of the combined companies, which will also be run by MabVax management and retain the MabVax name. Telik shareholders will own 15% and Wick keeps a seat on the board. 

MabVax is developing cancer vaccines, with two products targeting sarcoma and ovarian cancer enrolling patients in proof-of-concept phase II studies. 

TELK Chart TELK data by YCharts

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.


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