Healthcare Business

Select Positive ASCO Data (ARRY, AZN, LLY, DNA, GSK, ONXX, PFE, ZGEN)

Last night was a novel release from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (or ASCO) as the society decided to publish all of the findings to the public at once.  Keep in mind that many of the larger drug companies will have other presentations as well.  Below is some of the key and very brief data:

Array BioPharma (NASDAQ: ARRY) and AstraZeneca have announced plans for two additional randomized Phase II trials for AZD6244 in the second half of 2008 to test AZD6244 (ARRY-886) in combination with a chemotherapeutic agent; one trial will be for melanoma patients and the other for non-small cell lung cancer patients.  AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) showed positive breast cancer data in survivability.

Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY) showed that its Alimta showed 3 months longer survival in a lung cancer sub-set group.

Genentech (NYSE: DNA) showed that Avastin in brain cancer trials showed 9 months survival while most patients live only 6 months from the study point.

GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) showed that Tykerb added 1 year survival on advanced breast cancer patients.

Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ONXX) and Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals announced that Nexavar tablets significantly improved overall survival by 47.3% in patients in the Asia-Pacific region with primary liver cancer versus those receiving placebo; Nexavar improved time to progression in these patients by 74%.

Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) presented data showing Celebrex may prevent lung cancer in current and former smokers.

ZymoGenetics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZGEN) showed additional data from Phase 1 confirm that the combination is well-tolerated and shows anti-tumor activity; also reported positive results from the cohort expansion portion of a Phase 1 study with IL-21 and Rituxan in relapsed/refractory indolent lymphoma.

In the past investors had to wait for abstracts to be published and for presentations to be made.  It also was a situation where embargoes were used with media on releasing certain data.  Needless to say, there were many leaks on key data on who got what information when… and many profited from it.

This is only a brief summary of data from only a handful of the companies.  You can count on there being more data from many more biotech and drug companies… Floods of it.

Jon C. Ogg
May 16, 2008

Jon Ogg produces and edits the “10 Stocks Under $10” newsletter and he does not own securities in the companies he covers.