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
Comments
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 52 percentage points in 24 months. Our beta is only 1.2 (don't click this link if beating the market isn't important to you).

Lists

The 9 Most Dangerous Countries for Tourists to Visit

Reign of Terror: The 10 Most Ruthless Politicians in History

On the Move: The 10 Fastest Growing Businesses in 2015

Fast Money: The 10 Highest Paying Fast Food Restaurants

Mixing It Up: The 14 Best Music Mashups of 2014

Rito Pls Buff: The 10 Least Played Champions in LoL Season 4

10 Covers of Popular Songs that are Better than the Originals

Must See TV: The 9 Most Anticipated Shows of 2015

The 15 Biggest Box Office Bombs of All Time

10 Things The World Can’t Stand About Americans

Picture Perfect: The 6 Smartphones with the Best Cameras

The 10 Best Countries To Work In the World

A Profitable Day At The Track: 5 Tips For Betting On Horses

Tearing You Apart: 6 Bad Habits That Ruin Relationships

Learning on the Job: The 6 Biggest Mistakes Parents Make

Shopaholics Rejoice: The 12 Biggest Malls in the World

Fright Night: 10 Horror Movies Based on True Stories

Mach Mania: The 10 Fastest Jets in the World

Military Heavyweights: The 10 Countries with the Most Tanks

All In: The 7 Richest Poker Players in the World

Abracadabra: The 10 Best Magicians in the World

The 10 Richest Asian Countries in the World in 2014

Eyes in the Sky: 10 Things You Need to Know About Drones

Rising Stars: The 6 Best Silicon Valley Startups

Military Muscle: The 5 Most Advanced Armies in South America

All that Glitters: The 7 Most Luxurious Jewelry Brands in the World

5 Things You Didn’t Know About ISIS but Should

Empowering Your Money: The 5 Best Energy Stocks to Invest In

The 11 Best Android Apps You Can’t Get on iOS

The 10 Most Important International Conflicts in 2014

Mood Enhancers: The 20 Most Uplifting Songs of all Time

Lover Beware: The 8 Countries that Cheat the Most

Breath of Fresh Air: The 25 Countries with the Best Air Quality on the Planet

Singles Beware: The 8 Worst Mistakes Made on First Dates

Healthy and Happy: The 10 Countries with Lowest Healthcare Costs

The 6 Best Company Team Building Activities to Build Workplace Camaraderie

Ships Ahoy: The 10 Busiest Shipping Ports in the World

10 Productivity Tips to Save You Time and Help You Do More With Less

Grab a Bite: The Most Popular Fast Food Restaurants in America

Friday Night Thirst: The 10 Most Popular Cocktails in the World

The 6 Greatest Unsolved Mysteries We May Never Figure Out

7 Useless Products You Never Should’ve Bought

The 5 Reasons Why You’re Single and Miserable

The 7 Most Addictive Foods in the World We Can’t Stop Eating (Even Though We Should)

5 Amazing Places You Can Swim with Dolphins

The Top 7 Most Livable Countries In The World

The 10 Most Expensive Baseball Cards Ever Pulled From A Pack

The 5 Easiest Second Languages to Learn for English Speakers

Silver Spoon: The 6 Richest Families in the World

The 20 Countries with the Largest Prison Populations in the World

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!