More from Twitter, @ReformedBroker asks, "How long has Genta (GNTA) been flogging this antisense nonsense? 12 years?" The two most disappointed men in America this week had to be Harold Camping and Ray Warrell. Camping, of course didn't get his Rapture last weekend. Warrell, the longtime CEO of the biotech firm Genta, finally had to admit that his decade-long quixotic effort to develop an experimental cancer drug known as Genasense had finally come to an end. Genta, on Monday, reported the failed results from what should be the last Genasense clinical trial ever conducted. The combination of Genasense plus chemotherapy did not prolong the survival of skin cancer patients compared to treatment with chemotherapy alone. And yes, it's another blow to the already troubled credibility of the therapeutic drug technology known as antisense, which attempts to make drugs out of snippets of genetic code that infiltrate cells and prevent the expression of harmful proteins. Genta, Genasense, Warrell and I have a long history. I first tackled the subject in 2002 in a story that highlighted doubts and concerns about Genasense and its clinical trials. Many more bearish stories and columns followed. It's hard to imagine today, but Genta back then was a real company trading on the Nasdaq with significant institutional investor backing and a gaggle of sell-side analyst coverage. It was also a fantastically controversial stock that drew a ton of attention from some really smart biotech short-sellers who never believed in the Genasense story that Warrell pitched wherever he could find an audience.
@Superduty03 tweets, "Adam, will you be posting a breakdown of your top 5 or 10 companies that interest you at ASCO?" I'll be in Chicago next Friday for the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting, which kicks off in earnest on Saturday, June 4 and runs through Tuesday, June 7. As I did last year, I will be live-blogging from ASCO on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, hoping to provide you with real-time coverage of cancer drug data presentations and the investor buzz from the ASCO hallways. I've been calling this year an "incremental" ASCO meeting mainly because big, stock-moving data presentations are in short supply. In terms of companies that interest me at ASCO this year, I'm eager to check out the data from YM BioSciences ( YMI), Exelixis ( EXEL) and Neoprobe ( NEOP). Incyte ( INCY) could be a mover after the presentation of not-yet-seen phase III data on its myelofibrosis drug. The evolving prostate cancer treatment landscape is a big story for oncologists and investors, which for the latter means volatility in Dendreon, Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ), Medivation ( MDVN) and Exelixis. I still haven't nailed down my schedule for ASCO, it's on the to-do list for this weekend, so expect a more detailed breakdown of my ASCO plans next week before I get on the plane for Chicago.
George H. gripes on Avanir Pharmaceuticals ( AVNR) and my story about the congressional inquiry into the pricing of its new drug Nuedexta. George writes, "I have requested, as have many, an investigation into the senators regarding this Avanir article and also the whole manipulation of this stock!" Good luck with that. Don't forget your tin-foil hat.
Michael B. writes, "I appreciate your articles, although I do not agree with some points, they are truthful and sometimes people don't want to hear the truth. But I do appreciate your efforts. I wanted to get your thoughts on MannKind (MNKD). This company appears to be three years out from any type of revenues, but supports a $500M+ market cap at this point? Where do you see the company in 30 days, 60 days, 1 year and what do you think could possible behind the rationale that this company is worth as much as Wall Street is currently valuing at?" My old friend and former colleague Herb Greenberg (he's on CNBC now) once gave me a bit of very good advice. He told me that stocks lie all the time. By stocks, he meant stock prices, which go up and down for all kinds of reasons, many of them having nothing to do with fundamentals or the long-term prospects of the companies they represent. I remember Greenberg's words when I see MannKind trading above $4 a share. Stocks lie. --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.