The likelihood of a sell-the-news event after a biotech releases new data seems to be directly linked to the run-up a biotech has experienced going into the release. So it shouldn't come as much of a shock that Ariad Pharmaceuticals
Because, frankly, the data looks pretty good.
Ariad is going after patients that have failed Otsuka's and Bristol-Myers Squibb's
The phase 2 trial was a single-arm, open-label trial, which means that all the patients got ponatinib and doctors and their patients knew they got the drug. While double-blinded trials comparing a drug candidate with standard therapy or placebo is the best way to tell if a drug works, it's hard to imagine that around half of the patients would start to improve on their own. These are sick patients with few options, after all.
In fact, this phase 2 trial should be enough to gain Food and Drug Administration approval given the unmet need. Seattle Genetics'
If the full readout of the trial, which is expected in the first half of next year, produces the same solid results at six months, Ariad shouldn't have any problems getting the drug approved.