Leaders of <I>TheStreet's</I> Drug Approval Contest

This story has been corrected to include Dawid, another contestant among the leaders who was excluded by mistake.

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Back in March, I posted a challenge for readers: Predict the outcome of 12 regulatory events -- plus one clinical trial result. We're two months into TheStreet's Drug Approval Contest, and while I can't crown official winners just yet, it's close enough that an update is in order.

The negative votes at last Thursday's FDA advisory panels for both Aveo Oncology's ( AVEO) tivozanib and Delcath Systems ( DCTH) Melblez created big swings in the standings but also cemented the leaders in place.

With 11 events already decided, there is a group of four contestants tied for first place with impressive 10-1 records. They are:

Stanley D'Andrea (Twitter @stanleydandrea): His only mis-step so far has been the Delcath FDA panel decision. He predicted a positive vote, which was obviously the wrong way to go.

BBBtech (Twitter @biotechtoreador): Perfect picks except for calling the approval of A.P. Pharma's ( APPA) APF530, which FDA rejected.

Prpcm: Also perfect except for A.P. Pharma.

Ryan H. (Twitter @HaggertyRyan): His only blemish was Ziopharm Oncology ( ZIOP). predicting positive results from the palifosfamide phase III trial. As we all know, the study failed.

Pretty awesome job, guys. Congratulations.

Sitting tight behind these distinguished drug-approval forecasters is a group of six contestants with 9-2 records. Not too shabby at all. They are:

Zzlangerhans (Twitter @zzlangerhans): Missed A.P. Pharma and Aveo.

Steve Sabba: Missed Titan Pharma ( TTNP) and Ziopharm.

Jeffrey the Great (Twitter @jtg_investor): Missed A.P. Pharma and Ziopharm.

Brice Foose (Twitter @PharmDFoose): Missed A.P. Pharma and Aveo.

Dawid: Missed A.P. Pharma and Ziopharm.

Lastly, yours truly, Adam Feuerstein (Twitter @adamfeuerstein). I screwed up on A.P. Pharma and Ziopharm.

Take a bow, guys.

Eleven of 13 events have been decided, leaving only the FDA approval decision for Delcath's Melblez and Sarepta Therapeutics' ( SRPT) eteplitsen accelerated approval filing unresolved. Given the 0-16 vote against Meblez Thursday, it's safe to assume FDA will follow through with a formal rejection on June 14. All the front-runners listed above predicted a Delcath rejection except Stanley D'Andrea. That mistake will knock him from the group tied for first place.

Sorry about that, Stan.

So, that leaves Sarepta as the last and decisive event. This is where the contest gets fun:

If Sarepta files for accelerated approval (decision expected later this quarter), Prpcm and Ryan H. win the contest, each with an astounding record of 12-1.

If Sarepta does not file, the contest winner will be BBBtech.

Among the nine top contestants discussed above, six predict a Sarepta accelerated approval filing for eteplirsen; three believe no such filing will take place.

Lastly, I want to commend everyone who participated in the contest. The "wisdom of the crowd" effect this time around was really quite remarkable. As a group, the 113 participants in the contest are a combined 8-3, getting only A.P. Pharma, United Therapeutics ( UTHR) and Ziopharm incorrect. Add in the inevitable FDA rejection of Delcath's Melblez and the crowd is 9-3.

-- Reported by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.

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; click here to send him an email.

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