Why Curis Inc. Shares Tanked

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Curis (NASDAQ: CRIS  ) , a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing cancer therapeutics, sank as much as 21% today. This was on the day after reporting preliminary data from its ongoing phase 1 trial for CUDC-907 as a treatment for relapsed/refractory lymphoma or multiple myeloma at the American Society for Hematology's annual meeting.

So what: According to Curis' press release, CUDC-907 has been tested in two dosing regimens: a daily dosing, and a bi-weekly regimen. The daily dosing regimen was consistent with higher adverse event occurrences and toxicities in comparison to the bi-weekly regimen, which demonstrated good tolerability. Based on Curis' very early findings, one patient has demonstrated a partial anti-tumor response, while stable disease has been noted in seven of 11 evaluable patients. The company is still conducting dose escalation trials in the bi-weekly arm.

Now what: We're still very, very early in the game here when it comes to the development of CUDC-907, a PI3K and HDAC dual inhibitor, but I believe biotech savvy analysts were looking for a greater anti-tumor response than just one patient -- thus the reason for today's tumble. The bright side here is that the bi-weekly dosing arm hasn't reached its maximum dosage levels yet, meaning the effect of CUDC-907 with regard to anti-tumor activity could improve. For now, as I usually suggest with very early stage data, I would suggest sticking to the sidelines and waiting for mid- and late-stage data to do the talking.

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4/17/2014 2:20 PM
CRIS $2.25 Down -0.05 -2.17%
Curis, Inc. CAPS Rating: ****