BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Welcome to the Biotech Stock Mailbag: Memorial Day 2010 edition.Preston M. kicks things off, asking, " Adam, I appreciate your critical eye when it comes to evaluating drug stocks. What do you think of Neostem (NBS), which seems to be doing quite well these days and is generating a lot of buzz? Thanks." To learn about Neostem -- and to understand why I'd be wary about sinking investment dollars into the company -- read Neostem's most recent 10-K annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Read the SEC filing first -- before you visit Neostem's web site, before you read the company's press releases, and before you visit the stock message boards.
|ASCO Stocks to Watch 13 ASCO Stocks Presenting New Clinical Data|
Sticking with stem cell stocks, Michael H. emails, " I am interested in your comments on Cytori Therapeutics. I am a longtime stockholder and it has done well for me, but your comments have made me rethink some of my assumptions. (A good thing.) But at the same time I am wondering why you seem to focus only on the cardiac applications (which if true could be a game changer) and not what is going on with the cosmetic and regenerative applications? Further, I notice that you take a lot of heat on their message board, I, for one, appreciate a well thought out contrarian view. Keep it up!" Cytori sells the Celution Systems device in Europe and Japan. Celution harvests adult stem cells from belly fat but European regulators forbid Cytori from making claims about any therapeutic benefits of these fat-derived stem cells.
Not that anyone needs a reminder, but the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting kicks off a week from today in Chicago. I'll be there to cover the meeting.
On a related note, BuggyFunBuggy writes, " What's with Ziopharm Oncology (ZIOP) running a secondary into ASCO???? Oral session, Best of... What gives? Anyone done this before? What happened next?" I'll repeat what I said on Twitter Thursday after Ziopharm priced a $35 million stock offering: For those squawking about Ziopharm raising money before the big ASCO cancer meeting, remember rule No. 1 -- biotechs always raise money when they can. Always. Why would Ziopharm raise money before ASCO, especially since the company is expected to present strong mid-stage data on its sarcoma drug? Again, see Rule No. 1. If the money is there, take it. Rule No. 1 is especially important given Rule No. 2: Hot stocks running into ASCO become investor sources for cash after ASCO.
Via Twitter, @raleon23 asks, "Why not Onyx Pharmaceuticals (ONXX) long-term? Multiple cancers, adaptive clinical trials and potential takeover at some point by Bayer." Worse-than-expected Nexavar sales in the first quarter coupled with lowered 2010 Nexavar sales guidance are the latest woes to pinch Onyx's stock price. (At $22, it's down 26% for the year.) I wouldn't own Onyx betting on a Bayer takeout. What Onyx needs to revive its stock price is a big clinical trial win. Two studies to watch for in the near term: A phase III study of Nexavar in non-small cell lung cancer and a phase II (although possibly approval worthy) study of carfilzomib in relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma patients. Both studies should have data ready for release in the third quarter. Happy Memorial Day weekend! -- Reported by Adam Feuerstein in Boston. Follow Adam Feuerstein on Twitter.