3 Events Biotech Investors Need to Watch in 2013: Vical Incorporated (VICL) and More

Page 1 of 2

It’s make-or-break time in 2013. That’s the situation for several biotech companies with critical phase 3 trials under way. Good results from a late-stage clinical study can help an up-and-coming biotech hit the big time — and help shareholders hit the jackpot.

On the other hand, less-than-stellar results can decimate a company’s hopes and its stock. Celsion Corporation (NASDAQ:CLSN) experienced this agony of defeat recently when its ThermoDox failed to improve progression-free survival rates in liver cancer patients. Shares plummeted more than 80% on the news.

Vical Incorporated (NASDAQ:VICL)The fates of smaller biotech companies like Celsion, in particular, ride largely on phase 3 results. Biotech investors can win big if they make the right calls — and lose big if they don’t. With all of this in mind, here are three events in 2013 that biotech investors need to watch.

1. Could Allovectin be the next blockbuster cancer drug?
Small biotech Vical Incorporated (NASDAQ:VICL) thinks that it might be on to something big with Allovectin. The company expects to announce results from a phase 3 study of the drug in treating metastatic melanoma in the middle of this year. Vical hopes that success with this trial will lead to application of Allovectin to other indications, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, and head and neck cancer.

Vical is quick to point out several advantages that Allovectin has over the currently available leading metastatic melanoma drug, Bristol Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE:BMY) ‘s Yervoy. Allovectin can be given in an outpatient setting with little post-administration monitoring; Yervoy must be administered via infusion with monitoring following the treatment. Vical also notes that no patients in its phase 2 study of Allovectin experienced severe adverse events that are sometimes encountered by patients who take Yervoy.

Melanoma could present a market potential of more than $500 million annually for Allovectin, according to Vical’s estimates. That figure could be much higher with additional indications for the drug. Of course, Allovectin first needs to prove itself in the current late-stage study. We’ll find out in a few months if Vical is truly on to something big.

2. Will this pancreatic cancer drug succeed?
Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:MACK) probably faces one of the toughest challenges of any biotech. The company expects to conclude a phase 3 trial of experimental drug MM-398 as a second-line treatment for pancreatic cancer later this year.

Pancreatic cancer has few available treatments and is usually fatal. Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) experienced first-hand how difficult it can be to succeed with a pancreatic cancer drug last August. The company halted its phase 3 and phase 2 studies of ganitumab after analysis found that improvement of survival rates was unlikely.

Page 1 of 2
blog comments powered by Disqus
Insider Monkey Headlines
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 52 percentage points in 24 months Click to see monthly returns in table format!

Lists

The Top 10 States With Fastest Internet Speeds

10 Best Places to Visit in USA in August

Top 10 Cities to Visit Before You Die

Top 10 Genetically Modified Food In the US

15 Highest Grossing Movies Opening Weekend

5 Best Poker Books For Beginners

10 Strategies Hedge Funds Use to Make Huge Returns

Top 10 Fast Food Franchises to Buy

10 Best Places to Visit in Canada

Best Summer Jobs for Teachers

10 Youngest Hedge Fund Billionaires

Top 10 One Hit Wonders of the 90s

Fastest Growing Cities In America

Top 10 U.S. Cities for Freelancers

Top 9 Most Popular Free iPhone Apps

Top 10 Least Expensive Private Business Schools in the US

Top 15 Most Expensive Countries in the World – 2014

Top Businesses to Invest In

Top 5 Things You Might Be Doing Wrong With Your Business

Top 5 Strategic Technology Trends in 2014

Top Rags to Riches Stories

Parenting Behavior That Promotes Future Leaders

Top 5 Mistakes Made by Small Businesses

Top 5 Most Common and Potentially Devastating Financial Blunders

Top 5 Highest Paying Jobs for Web Designers

Top 6 Most Respected Professions that Also Pay Well

Top 5 Pitfalls Investors Should Avoid

Top 6 Lawyers and Policy Makers Under 30

Top 6 New Year’s Resolutions for Entrepreneurs

Top 7 Locations to Check in on Facebook

Top 5 Mistakes made by Rookie eBay Sellers

Top 7 eBook Publishers in 2013

Top 6 Health Industry Trends in 2014

5 Lessons for Entrepreneurs from Seth Godin

Top 5 Success Tips from Jordan Belfort – the Wolf of Wall Street

Best Master’s in Finance Degree Programs

Top 6 Earning Celebrities Over 50

The most expensive sports to play

Top 7 Earning Celebrities Under 25

Best 7 Online Courses to Take: Free Finance MOOCs

Top 6 Bad Habits that Promote Failure

20 Most Valuable Soccer Teams in the World in 2013

12 Most Expensive Countries for Foreign Students

Top 30 Most Influential Women in the World

Top 20 Most Expensive New Year Eve Shows

Top 5 Best Vocational Careers

Top 10 Jobs for 2014 by Salary Gain (Predictions)

Top 5 Digital Trends for 2014

Top 6 Things You Can Do To Increase Your Productivity

Top 9 Trending Smartphones in 2013

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 47.6% in its first year! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!