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Cancer Cures: ASCO Stocks to Give Your Portfolio a Boost

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Cancer drugmaker stocks present an interesting opportunity to investors. Although there is no guarantee a company with a drug in the pipeline will be approved, let alone become popular (two reasons why the biotech industry is wrought with risk), getting in early can mean big returns if the company releases a blockbuster drug.

These stocks can quickly rise in value if they pass certain goals in testing, reach approval, or reach commercial success. They can also rise in value when the companies present their research at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), which holds their annual meeting in June. These presentations can be real game changers for the world of medicine, and for stock values.

Business section: Investing ideas
The society will be posting research abstracts for the meeting on its website May 16th. Until then, there are seven companies with stocks expected to present at this year's ASCO meeting. has compiled some need-to-know information on these companies for investors. Do you agree it would be wise to keep these names on your radar? (Click here to access free, interactive tools to analyze these ideas.)

1. Celldex Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CLDX  ) : Not much is known, but the company will discuss Phase IIb study of CDX-011 in refractory breast cancer. According to TheStreet, "Celldex enrolled 120 patients with advanced breast cancer that over-expresses a protein known as GPNMB (confirmed by an independent test). The patients, all of whom no longer respond to currently approved treatments, are then randomized to receive either CDX-011 or physician's choice of treatment. The primary endpoint of the study is overall response rate.

2. Arqule (Nasdaq: ARQL  ) : The company will present on A phase II study of tivantinib (ARQ-197) in second-line liver cancer. "Top-line data from this phase II study were released in January. Liver cancer patients who progressed after first-line therapy were randomized 2:1 to receive tivantinib or a placebo. The study met its primary endpoint with tivantinib demonstrating a 56% improvement in time to tumor regrowth compared to the placebo.

3. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ  ) : At ASCO, JNJ will present Phase III study of Zytiga in "pre-chemo" prostate cancer patients. "At this point, the Zytiga study is the biggest attention grabber at ASCO from a Wall Street perspective because the results have far-reaching impact not only on J&J but prostate cancer drug competitors Medivation (MDVN) and Dendreon (DNDN).

4. Ariad Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ARIA  ) : Will present on six-month, follow-up data from the pivotal phase III study of ponatinib in chronic myelogenous leukemia. "Results from the first three months of the ponatinib PACE study were presented last December... Investors will be looking for six-month response rates to be higher than what was seen last December.

5. Aveo Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: AVEO  ) : According to TheStreet, Aveo will give a full presentation of results from the phase III study of tivozanib in kidney cancer. "Top-line results from the kidney cancer study were announced in early January with tivozanib demonstrating a progression-free survival of 11.9 months compared to 9.1 months for Nexavar.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the stocks mentioned above. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.


Kapitall's Rebecca Lipman does not own any of the shares mentioned above.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Johnson & Johnson. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Johnson & Johnson. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a diagonal call position in Johnson & Johnson. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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