Biotech Stock Mailbag: Unstoppable Heron, Aerie Disclosure Fail, Gene Therapy, Hate Mail!

BOSTON (TheStreet) -- The big move by Heron Therapeutics (HRTX) since the end of May generated a ton of reader email and tweets for this week's Biotech Stock Mailbag. Most of the comments I've received are skeptical, questioning Heron's suddenly upsized market value relative to the future commercial potential of its lead drug Sustol, which aims to reduce nausea and vomiting in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

If you haven't been following the Heron story, here's what the stock chart looks like since the beginning of May.

HRTX Chart

The spark was a Heron press release on May 28 announcing results from a phase III study demonstrating that a Sustol-containing regimen was superior to the current standard of care in the "prevention of delayed-onset chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting following administration of highly emetogenic chemotherapy agents."

Simply explained, Sustol, administered as an injection, stops cancer patients from throwing up for one to five days after they've been treated with chemotherapy drugs known to cause a lot of nausea and vomiting.

Heron intends to seek U.S. approval for Sustol later this summer. If approved, the drug will be on the market in the middle of 2016. Doctors have a lot of treatment options currently for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV), both branded drugs and cheaper generics. Heron points out that Sustol has the potential to be the first injectable CINV drug in its class to be approved specifically for the prevention of delayed-onset CINV in patients undergoing highly emetogenic chemotherapy.


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