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Why Clovis Oncology's Shares Were Decimated

By Sean Williams - Nov 13, 2012 at 7:20AM

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What: Shares of oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company Clovis Oncology (CLVS -6.26%) were hammered on Monday, falling nearly 42%, following the release of disappointing clinical data for the company's metastatic pancreatic cancer drug, CO-101.

So what: Details of the LEAP trial were released this morning, showing that Clovis' CO-101 had no difference in overall survival when compared to the current standard of treatment, Gemzar, made by Eli Lilly (LLY 0.46%). Both drugs boasted a median survival rate of six months, and, according to its CEO, Patrick Mahaffy during a conference call following the news release (and via Reuters), the results were "even more ambiguous than we could have imagined." Subsequently, Clovis has halted development of CO-101 and will instead focus on CO-1686, its early stage experimental lung cancer treatment, which should have data out in the first half of 2013.

Now what: If that wasn't enough of a kick in the pants, after the bell on Friday, Celgene (CELG) released its earnings results along with a study showing that its cancer blockbuster Abraxane, when combined with Lilly's Gemzar, improved survival rates in patients with pancreatic cancer. Clovis does have one thing going for it: $6.78 in cash per share with no debt; however, even that balance is slowly dwindling because of clinical trial expenses. For now, I'm perfectly happy keeping my distance from Clovis following today's train wreck.

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Stocks Mentioned

Eli Lilly and Company Stock Quote
Eli Lilly and Company
$304.00 (0.46%) $1.40
Celgene Corporation Stock Quote
Celgene Corporation
Clovis Oncology, Inc. Stock Quote
Clovis Oncology, Inc.
$0.64 (-6.26%) $0.04

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