BOSTON (TheStreet) -- In about six weeks, the biotech universe will once again descend on San Francisco for the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. And like every year, the start of the conference will be marked by a blizzard of press releases issued by biotech and drug companies. These corporate announcements -- some more desperate than others -- are all designed to ride the coattails of the J.P. Morgan conference and get investors to notice.

Last January, I highlighted the five absolute worst PR panders committed by drug companies during the week of the J.P. Morgan conference. Did the stock-promoting strategy work? Let's take a look at the results, 11 months later.

Agenus(AGEN) - Get Report

The pandering press release that set me off? Agenus Announces Phase 2 Checkpoint Inhibitor Combination Trial With Prophage Cancer Vaccine for Melanoma.

Here's what I wrote last January.

Oh man, kudos to the Agenus employee/stock tout who managed to get "checkpoint inhibitor" into the press release headline.

The lead 'graph is just as manipulative... er... I mean great....

"Agenus Inc., a biotechnology company developing novel immune system activating treatments for cancers and infectious diseases, today announced initiation of a randomized Phase 2 trial with Prophage for melanoma, and Bristol-Myers Squibb's(BMY) - Get Report Yervoy (ipilimumab) for the treatment of Stage III and IV metastatic melanoma. The combination has the potential to trigger a more effective immune response against the tumor than Yervoy alone."

Wow! Bristol-Myers Squibb -- the hot-sh-t cancer-immunotherapy company -- is partnering with tiny Agenus??!?!

Um... no, Bristol is not doing any such thing, which we learn in the third paragraph of Agenus' press release.

"The Phase 2, randomized, open label, single-center, investigator-sponsored trial is designed to evaluate the safety, feasibility and immunogenicity of the combination of Prophage vaccine and Yervoy with or without low dose cyclophosphamide (a chemotherapy agent used in this study as an immunomodulator of regulatory cells) in 25 patients with unresectable Stage III or IV metastatic melanoma. The trial will be conducted at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and led by clinical investigator Jorge Quesada, M.D."

An investigator-sponsored clinical trial. Oh... never mind.

What's happened since?

Nothing. This phase II study of Prophage and Yervoy in melanoma was never started. Agenus is also developing its own cancer immunotherapies, but so is every other small cancer-focused biotech and drug company. None of Agenus' cancer immunotherapy candidates have entered human clinical trials.

Agenus' stock performance since the press release was issued: -1%.

MediciNova(MNOV) - Get Report

The pandering press release that set me off? MediciNova Announces Positive Results in NASH Mouse Model With MN-001 and Prepares to Initiate Phase 2 Trial in the U.S.

Here's what I wrote in January.

NASH. Check. "Positive Results." Check. Mice? Shut the f--k up.

What's happened since?

Not much. Preparations for the phase II study continue. Medicinova hasn't said when it expects the NASH study of MN-001 to begin.

MediciNova's stock performance since the press release was issued: +27%.

The company's year appears to have been salvaged by another press release about MN-001 issued in early October.

CytRx (CYTR)

The pandering press release that set me off? CytRx Corporation Doses First Patient in Phase 2 Clinical Trial With Aldoxorubucin for the Treatment of Unresectable Glioblastoma Multiforme.

Here's what I wrote in January.

Wait. This "news" doesn't seem so newsy. Didn't I read about the start of this brain cancer study previously? Let me check...

Yes! On Nov. 20, 2013:

CytRx Initiates Phase 2 Clinical Trial With Aldoxorubicin in Patients with Unresectable Glioblastom Multiforme

For an added laugh, check out the quote from CytRx CEO Steve Kriegsman in this week's do-over press release, claiming that aldoxorubicin, i.e. me-too doxorubicin, could qualify for FDA "breakthrough therapy" designation.

What's happened since?

More than one year later, CytRx has still not managed to enroll the full 28 brain tumor patients in the study. In November, the FDA placed a partial clinical hold on all aldoxorubicin studies due to the death of a patient treated with the drug.

And CytRx executives were ensnared in a dubious stock promotion scheme.

CytRx still promises preliminary results from the aldoxorubicin brain tumor study next year.

CytRx's stock performance since the press release was issued: -67%.

CTI Biopharma(CTIC) - Get Report

The pandering press release that set me off? Cell Therapeutics Reaches Agreement to Reacquire Rights to Two Anti-Cancer Compounds.

Here's what I wrote in January.

Jim Bianco: Reversion to the mean.

How does one go about re-acquiring rights to cancer drugs that never left your possession in the first place?

I have a source at the NSA who provided me with a transcript of the call between Cell Therapeutics and Novartis(NVS) - Get Report . Here's how it went:

Cell Therapeutics: Hi Novartis! How are you?

Novartis: Who is this?

Cell Therapeutics: It's Cell Therapeutics, your partner on Pixuvri and Opaxio. We're wondering if we could get our drugs back.

Novartis: Pixuvri? Opaxio? I'm sorry, who is this again?

Cell Therapeutics: Never mind. Have an excellent day!

What's happened since?

Cell Therapeutics changed its name to CTI BioPharma but still owns the "re-acquired" rights to Pixuvri and Opaxio.

Cell Therapeutics' stock performance since the press release was issued: -27%.

Sunesis Pharmaceuticals(SNSS) - Get Report

The pandering press release that set me off? Sunesis Pharmaceuticals Expands Hematology Franchise With Global Licenses to Two Kinase Inhibitor Programs.

Here's what I wrote in January:

I suspect Sunesis and Cell Therapeutics were in cahoots prior to the start of the JPM conference. Their respective bullsh-t PRs are remarkably similar.

In this cases, Sunesis "expands" its pipeline when Biogen Idec(BIIB) - Get Report and Takeda (TKPYY) decide to return two cancer drugs to the company.

Sunesis gets extra credit for actually holding a conference call to discuss its non-deal deal.

What's happened since?

Nothing! You expected something different? Ha!

Oh, wait, something else did happen. Sunesis' lead drug failed a phase III study.

Sunesis' stock performance since the press release was issued: -52%.

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;

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