Healthcare Economy

An Early Look at 2012 ASCO Biotech Cancer Stocks (DNDN, LLY, AMGN, ARIA, ARQL, ARRY, AVEO, BVTI, ABPI, BMY, CLDX, CYTR, CYCC, GALE, EXEL, GNBT, GHDX, IMGN, MYGN, NKTR, NLNK, ONXX, OPTR, PCYC, SGEN, SNSS, SNTA)

We are now just about two weeks away from the king of biotech and pharma events in cancer treatments.  The 2012 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is set to take place from June 1 to June 5 in Chicago.  This has been a make or break event for many cancer treatment and identification efforts.  Some of the exhibitors being featured by ASCO are Dendreon, Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE: LLY), Genentech, Helsinn, Eisai, and Montefiore/Einstein.

24/7 Wall St. has compiled a log of companies which have already signaled in press releases that they will be presenting data or that data will be presented on their behalf at the 2012 ASCO Annual Meeting.  We have previewed more than 25 companies so far and that is not even including Big Pharma names.  As of May 18, the total abstracts submitted were 5,264 and of those there have been 2,744 which have been accepted for presentation at ASCO.  Of those accepted for presentation, some 1,859 are going to be ‘ePublication only’ for viewers.  The breakdown for the Abstracts shows that the oral presentation is currently 257 presentations and 2,487 are listed as poster presentation only.

The most presentations accepted (203) so far are focused on Genitourinary Cancer, which covers urinary tract and male genital tract as follows: Prostate cancer; Bladder cancer; Kidney cancer; Testicular cancer; Penile cancer; Nonmalignant tumors of the urinary tract and male reproductive system; and Von Hippel Lindau disease.  As of today, the fewest accepted presentations (93) cover Pediatric oncology.

Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN), the largest independent biotech that there is, recently showed updated results from a Phase 2 study showing that treatment with blinatumomab helped achieve a high-rate of complete response in 72% of adult patients with relapsed or refractory B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia treated in the study. This blinatumomab is the first of a new class of agents called bi-specific T cell engagers antibodies, which are designed to harness the body’s cell-destroying T cells to kill cancer cells.  Blinatumomab targets cells expressing CD19, a protein found on the surface of B-cell derived leukemias and lymphomas, such as ALL. Full results of the study will be presented during an oral abstract session on June 4 at the ASCO Annual Meeting.

ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARIA) recently sold off but will will have updated clinical data from the pivotal PACE trial of ponatinib, its investigational pan-BCR-ABL inhibitor in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) on June 4.  The company said that the data will form the basis of its regulatory filings for marketing approval of Ponatinib for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia and Philadelphia-chromosome positive acute lymphoblasatic leukemia.

ArQule, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARQL) and Daiichi Sankyo, Co., Ltd. (Japan) will have an oral presentation at the ASCO Annual Meeting featuring Phase 2 trial data with tivantinib as a single agent investigational second-line treatment in hepatocellular carcinoma. ArQule announced that this randomized, double-blind study met its primary endpoint in January and will now present the full results from this trial, including positive data in the pre-defined c-MET high population. Additional clinical data with tivantinib will be featured in two poster discussions and two general poster sessions.

Array BioPharma Inc. (NASDAQ: ARRY) has recently risen on its lung cancer and melanoma results.  The company has three oral presentations at the annual meeting after having already presented Phase 1 data on MEK162 in 28 patients with biliary tract cancer at the ASCO Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium in January 2012 showing that it was well tolerated and showed evidence of clinical efficacy in this patient population, including a complete response and a partial response. Stable disease was observed in 12 patients. The company has licensed selumetinib to AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) and licensed MEK162 to Novartis (NYSE: NVS).