Dear Valued Visitor,

We have noticed that you are using an ad blocker software.

Although advertisements on the web pages may degrade your experience, our business certainly depends on them and we can only keep providing you high-quality research based articles as long as we can display ads on our pages.

To view this article, you can disable your ad blocker and refresh this page or simply login.

We only allow registered users to use ad blockers. You can sign up for free by clicking here or you can login if you are already a member.

Dendreon Corporation (DNDN), Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. (CLDX): Is There Still Upside in Immunotherapy?

The difference is that Herceptin only targets high levels of expression, leaving up to 50% of the market unaccounted for. In a phase 2 study, Galena Biopharma Inc (NASDAQ:GALE)’s approach of targeting this protein and activating the immune system caused an overall 50% reduction in recurrence compared to the control group.

But more impressive was the 78% reduction in vaccinated patients who were optimally dosed and who received booster shots. In the company’s ongoing phase 3 study, all patients will be optimally dosed and will receive boosters, further adding fuel to the optimistic fire.

So far, Galena Biopharma Inc (NASDAQ:GALE)’s approach of preventing recurrence is working, but it is a new approach that has not yet been done in immunotherapy. Therefore, Galena is a very speculative stock, trading with a market cap of around $200 million. But given the company’s early results, Herceptin’s large sales, and the potential patient population that exists, Galena might be worth a long hard look to succeed in immunotherapy.

Final thoughts
Celldex and Galena Biopharma Inc (NASDAQ:GALE) fit into the broad category of companies using what Dendreon Corporation (NASDAQ:DNDN) made famous, but they have modified their therapeutic approach to experience early success. This speaks volumes for the direction of immunotherapy, an industry that is nowhere near dead — but rather innovating quickly.

Just this year, at ASCO, anti-PD1s were the highlight of the show. Being developed by Merck, Roche, and Bristol-Myers Squibb, anti-PD1s essentially remove the camouflage from cancer cells so that the immune system can identify them as foreign and then attack. Merck’s anti-PD-1 drug labrolizumab shrank tumors in 38% of patients with advanced melanoma, and along with its peers , prove that this approach might be the next phase of immunotherapy in treating the disease.

With that said, immunotherapy doesn’t appear to be on the decline, but rather innovating quickly. For investors, we shouldn’t look solely at past failures, but rather new technologies, and the interest shown by big pharma to develop in this space. Then, we realize the future is quite bright for immunotherapy — and those that are innovating.

The article Is There Still Upside in Immunotherapy? originally appeared on and is written by Brian Nichols.

Brian Nichols is long Galena and Celldex. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

DOWNLOAD FREE REPORT: Warren Buffett's Best Stock Picks

Let Warren Buffett, George Soros, Steve Cohen, and Daniel Loeb WORK FOR YOU.

If you want to beat the low cost index funds by 19 percentage points per year, look no further than our monthly newsletter.In this free report you can find an in-depth analysis of the performance of Warren Buffett's entire historical stock picks. We uncovered Warren Buffett's Best Stock Picks and a way to for Buffett to improve his returns by more than 4 percentage points per year.

Bonus Biotech Stock Pick: You can also find a detailed bonus biotech stock pick that we expect to return more than 50% within 12 months.
Subscribe me to Insider Monkey's Free Daily Newsletter
This is a FREE report from Insider Monkey. Credit Card is NOT required.