By: Adam Feuerstein | 06/20/14 - 09:41 AM EDT
Conspicuously absent from Northwest Biotherapeutics' (NWBO) press release Friday was any mention of the MD Anderson Cancer Center. If MD Anderson didn't rebuke Northwest Bio for inappropriate DCVax-Direct data disclosure, as I reported yesterday, why didn't the company obtain a supportive statement from MD Anderson?
Stumped? Let me give you a hint: MD Anderson really did rebuke Northwest Bio.
Here's how my story went down: I called an MD Anderson spokesperson and shared with her Northwest Bio's statements regarding the DCVax-Direct study. I wanted to know if MD Anderson, as the lead hospital conducting this study, was comfortable with the way Northwest Bio was characterizing preliminary, individual patient case reports in public statements. Is this appropriate? Does MD Anderson condone Northwest Bio's actions? Is the information being disseminated by Northwest Bio about the supposed response to DCVax-Direct accurate?
In response to my questions, MD Anderson's spokesperson asked me to speak with Dr. Aman Buzdar, the hospital's vice president of clinical research. Let's be clear about this point: I did not cold call every MD Anderson oncologist looking for someone to slap Northwest Bio on the wrist for issuing misleading statements about an ongoing clinical trial. MD Anderson, after examining the statement about DCVax-Direct issued by Northwest Bio over the past month, specifically asked me to speak with Buzdar as a representative of the hospital.
This is why Northwest Bio cannot offer up any real defense this morning, other than a self-serving quote from CEO Linda Powers.
Where Northwest Bio stands today:
1. The prestigious MD Anderson Cancer Center has labeled the Northest Bio DCVax-Direct data disclosures as "inappropriate" and believes the company is simply trying to create "hype" about its product.
2. Northwest Bio still hasn't disclosed the outcome of an interim efficacy analysis from the phase III study of DC-Vax in brain cancer patients, despite promising an announcement six months ago. The company won't even tell investors how many patients are actually enrolled in the study, or provide any real timelines for the study's completion.
3. Northwest Bio makes believe a German "hospital exemption" for DC-Vax is anything more than compassionate use.
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