Five Worst, Pandering Drug Stocks of J.P. Morgan Healthcare Confab Week

Every biotech and drug company uses the Monday morning kick-off of the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference to announce some type of corporate update or announcement. It doesn't really matter if the news is relevant or not, what's important is the stock-promoting publicity that comes from having a press release "attached" to the JPM confab.

Even better is when a company can glom onto a hot biotech trend!

Here are five absolute worst PR panders committed by drug companies this week:

Agenus (AGEN)

Agenus Announces Phase 2 Checkpoint Inhibitor Combination Trial with Prophage Cancer Vaccine for Melanoma

Oh man, kudos to the Agenus employee/stock tout who managed to get "checkpoint inhibitor" into the press release headline.

The lead 'graph is just as manipulative...er... I mean great...

Agenus Inc., a biotechnology company developing novel immune system activating treatments for cancers and infectious diseases, today announced initiation of a randomized Phase 2 trial with Prophage for melanoma, and Bristol-Myers Squibb's Yervoy (ipilimumab) for the treatment of Stage III and IV metastatic melanoma. The combination has the potential to trigger a more effective immune response against the tumor than Yervoy alone.

Wow! Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) -- the hot-shit cancer-immunotherapy company -- is partnering with tiny Agenus??!?!

Um... no, Bristol is not doing any such thing, which we learn in the third paragraph of Agenus' press release:

The Phase 2, randomized, open label, single-center, investigator-sponsored trial is designed to evaluate the safety, feasibility and immunogenicity of the combination of Prophage vaccine and Yervoy with or without low dose cyclophosphamide (a chemotherapy agent used in this study as an immunomodulator of regulatory cells) in 25 patients with unresectable Stage III or IV metastatic melanoma. The trial will be conducted at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and led by clinical investigator Jorge Quesada, M.D.

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