A speculative mania has overtaken the Pink Sheet stock Provectus Biopharmaceuticals PVCT, triggered by Internet message board and Twitter rumors that FDA officials may sanction an accelerated approval filing of the company's long-delayed skin cancer drug PV-10.
Provectus' stock price has soared from 80 cents per share in December to almost $6 Thursday, doubling in price in the past seven days. Volume has been off the charts. The company's market capitalization now tops $1 billion when warrants and options are included in the total share count -- incredible for a bulletin board stock with less than 1% institutional investor ownership, according to S&P CapitalIQ.
Provectus is doing its part to feed the hungry maws of momentum traders, issuing a cryptic press release on Dec. 18 about a meeting with FDA to discuss "possible routes to approval of PV-10 such as breakthrough therapy designation or accelerated approval..."
The reasons for Provectus' sit-down with the FDA and the outcome of the meeting have not been disclosed. Provectus further fueled the speculative fervor by issuing an 8-K on Jan. 15 to announce that the receipt of official minutes from the FDA meeting were delayed.
Provectus executives have now gone radio silent. Chief Operating Officer Peter Culpepper agreed to speak with me on Wednesday about PV-10 and the FDA meeting, but he cancelled a few hours before our scheduled phone call. Company spokesman Bill Gordon won't answer questions.
The notion that FDA would bend over backwards to anoint PV-10 with breakthrough therapy designation or endorse a speedy approval pathway is fundamentally absurd, even by the lower standards of today's "anything goes" biotech investment climate.