Celgene's Abraxane Is Talk of European Cancer Confab

VIENNA ( TheStreet) -- Celgene ( CELG) hasn't yet announced results from the Abraxane phase III study in pancreatic cancer but the drug generated a lot of positive buzz at this weekend's European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) conference.

Cancer consultant guru and blogger Sally Church, in attendance at ESMO, notes oncologists who specialize in pancreatic cancer are typically a dour lot because of the paucity of effective therapies at their disposal. But she was surprised to see these experts in an "excited and feisty mood" Friday because of Abraxane data expected very soon.

On the timing of Celgene announcing results from the Abraxane phase III study, Church writes:

"While it was made abundantly clear by the panel that the final data isn't yet available, all of the KOLs key opinion leaders presenting were at pains to say in their presentations it will be in a "few weeks" or "very soon" so thankfully we won't have long to wait for the press release."

Furthermore, Abraxane sentiment is positive. Again, Church:

"My assumption though, is that the nab-paclitaxel Abraxane is positive since a first cut of the analysis could be available by now, especially if the data will be announced soon. Why else would there be such warm enthusiasm from a well-respected panel?"

Pieter Droppert, Church's colleague and fellow blogger, put together a Storify aggregating Abraxane-related tweets from ESMO 2012 and notes that chatter about the drug overshadowed the presentation of actual pancreatic cancer data from Threshold Pharmaceuticals ( THLD).

The best way for investors to play the coming Abraxane data is to buy the Celgene contingent value right ( CELGZ) created by Celgene when it acquired Abraxane's original owner Abraxis BioScience in 2010, says hedge fund manager and TheStreet contributor Jim Silverman.

"What I like about the Celgene CVR ( CELGZ) is the potential for a nearly $7.50-per-share payout should a phase III study of Abraxane in pancreatic cancer succeed," Silverman wrote in a column last week.

The Celgene CVR rose 10% on Friday to close at 2.83 per share.

--Written by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.

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