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CHICAGO -- My weekend at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting was almost totally occupied by
-related work, which gave me very little time to devote to any other company news. I apologize for that, but it was impossible to find the time to really dig into other stories.
readers can check the
archives for my weekend postings. Obviously, there were non-ImClone happenings at ASCO this year (although to be honest, not much). Here are pocket sketch observations of some other possible stock-moving news:
: Denosumab looks like it will have a role in the cancer market, based on data presented this weekend. The big opportunity for the experimental drug is in osteoporosis, and that's where most investors are focused, but "D-Mab" could also be used to treat bone-related side effects of cancer treatments.
Cowen & Co., in a recent report, pegged the D-Mab cancer market opportunity at up to $1 billion, so it's not chump change, especially for Amgen which is still feeling the negative effects of decreased use of its anemia drug Aranesp.
: I swung by the
booth in the exhibitors' hall over the weekend, totally psyched to see that the real estate allotted to the marketing of the constipation drug Relistor was impressive.
The Wyeth booth is a Relistor love fest, with Relistor-related signage and marketing materials taking up about half the booth space. (Wyeth's kidney cancer drug Torisel occupies the other half.) This is all good for Progenics, and shows that Wyeth is making a big sales effort for Relistor, which will hopefully translate into a strong drug launch and royalties.
: This is a clear winner at this year's ASCO. The Avastin breast cancer data from the AVADO trial was strong, and ImClone's Erbitux doesn't appear to be a competitive threat in lung cancer. I didn't get a chance to spend much time on the data from its early-stage pipeline, but the hedgehog inhibitor GDC-0449 looks very promising. Remember, that's a drug partnered with
, so it gets a good ASCO grade too.
: I saw positive early data from XL184 in patients with medullary thyroid cancer. This is a very small indication, but the company plans on starting a pivotal phase III trial this summer. That's a good sign of progress for Exelixis.
: The company showed strong Revlimid data in multiple myeloma and other blood-borne cancers this weekend. It's been a good meeting for Celgene; Revlimid remains a strong growing presence in front-line multiple myeloma and now there is exciting data suggesting the drug could have a big role in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
There was also increasing chatter at ASCO this weekend that the EORTC Dacogen survival trial in myelodysplastic syndrome patients will disappoint. Nothing confirmed, just a lot of talk, but if that turns out to be true, it would be positive for Celgene's drug Vidaza.
: Updated survival data on its melanoma drug ipilimumab was mixed but not very compelling, especially since we already know that the drug can't be filed with the Food and Drug Administration until results are ready from the ongoing phase III study in front-line melanoma patients. That's not happening anytime soon.
: Melanoma has been a drug development graveyard, but Synta's experimental drug elesclomol has a shot at success. There was additional and positive data presented here from the company's randomized phase II study. It wasn't earth shattering but it does explain and support the dosing and design of the ongoing phase III study, which should have data in early 2009.
Anything melanoma-related is high risk, but Synta conducted a randomized, controlled phase II study that was positive, so on that basis alone, elesclomol deserves at least a look.
Adam Feuerstein writes regularly for TheStreet.com. In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in TheStreet.com. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Feuerstein appreciates your feedback;
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