Back to Twitter. @quickgainstocks asks, "Outlook on $OXGN?" I don't know for sure what caused Oxigene ( OXGN) shares to fly this week. I doubt the surge has much to do with the company's fundamentals or significant changes to the outlook for the cancer drugs in its pipeline. This move looks more like a quirky trading phenomenon related to a penny biotech stock with a tiny float, magnified by speculative bets ahead of next week's release of research abstract for the ASCO annual meeting. Researchers at the ASCO meeting will be presenting updates on two studies of Oxigene's experimental cancer drug Zybrestat: Final data, including a final survival analysis, will be presented from the "FACT" phase II/III study of Zybrestat in patients with anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC).
@kevinmcgreevy tweets, "I know things are bad at $alth, but $mnkd has 2x the market cap now?!? Is it that bad?" Geesh, when you put it that way, you're absolutely right. Allos Therapeutics ( ALTH) is way better off than MannKind ( MNKD). Then again, there are few drug or biotech stocks in sorrier shape than MannKind, so are you really damning Allos with faint praise? Kevin's question riffs off a Twitter debate I had with a few people Tuesday night following the release of Allos' first-quarter results (bad) and the announcement of a deal with Mundipharma for European marketing rights to Folytn, Allos' lymphoma drug (good).
Angie D. emails, "Adam, thanks for the great job on the FDA advisory panel blogs for Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Merck. They were very helpful, and many of us value your opinions. Where do you see Optimer Pharmaceuticals going this month?" Optimer should go higher as long as 1) FDA approves its antibiotic Dificid for the treatent of C. diff infection on time (May 30) and 2) FDA grants the company a Dificid label which includes data or language about lower C. diff recurrence rate compared to vancomycin. If you recall, the FDA advisory panel on April 6 voted unanimously to recommend Dificid's approval but the same panel was split on how best to characterize the drug's recurrence benefit. I do believe the data demonstrating Dificid's recurrence benefit are clear, it's more a matter of how best to describe it in the label. I predict Optimer and FDA have had enough time to hammer out the Dificid label in time for the drug to be approved on May 30. --Written by Adam Feuerstein in Boston. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Adam Feuerstein. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/adamfeuerstein. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.