Why Provectus Biopharmaceuticals Inc. Shares Plummeted

Provectus shares tumble after it refutes misleading claims in a blog. Find out what investors should really be paying attention to instead.

May 22, 2014 at 2:29PM

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 Provectus Biopharmaceuticals (NYSEMKT:PVCT), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapies to treat oncologic and dermatologic conditions, plunged as much as 20% after the company issued a press release refuting claims made against the company from an investment community blog.

So what: According to Provectus' response, it refuted what it believed to be numerous inaccuracies in the blog. Specifically, Provectus notes that PV-10, its investigational metastatic melanoma therapy, hasn't failed the breakthrough therapy designation, but is awaiting a decision from the Food and Drug Administration as to the status of its request. Provectus also denies any affiliation with stock promoters, and assured its investors that the most important patent covering PV-10 expires in 2031 and not 2016. In response, at least two law firms have opened investigations into potential wrongdoing as of yesterday afternoon.

Now what: Thanks to high-profile short-sellers like Citron Research and Muddy Waters the ability to tear a company apart in a public format has never been easier. Provectus shares were absolutely clobbered on these allegation which, as of now, the company vehemently denies.

So what should you do? I'd suggest sticking to your current investment thesis in the company because all that really matters is whether or not Provectus can get its phase 3 study of PV-10 off the ground. The initial phase 2 results were encouraging and are the primary reason Provectus' share price saw such rapid appreciation. However, it reported its final top-line data from this trial in Oct. 2012, and shareholders have to be wondering what's with the hold-up? If Provectus is simply hoping for a breakthrough therapy designation and then to find a partner based on that designation that's one thing. But if Provectus fails to get the breakthrough designation, then what? For now, given the speculation surrounding Provectus, I'd personally suggest remaining on the sidelines until we have more clarity about when a phase 3 trial for PV-10 is scheduled to begin.

Provectus may offer investors plenty of potential, but even it could struggle to keep pace with this top stock over the long run
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