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 Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: PPHM), a biopharmaceutical company developing monoclonal antibodies to treat cancer, jumped as much as 19% after the company reported final data on its mid-stage second-line non-small cell lung cancer drug, Bavituximab, at the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting.
So what: According to Peregrine's presentation at ASCO, Bavituximab devliered a median overall survival of 11.7 months in combination with docetaxel compared to just 7.3 months for the control arm. Additional studies also demonstrated slight improvements in overall response rate -- 17.1% for Bavituximab and 11.3% for the control arm -- and a 0.3 month improvement in median progression-free survival over the placebo. The data also suggested that Bavituximab was well-tolerated with a similar adverse events profile to that of the control arm.
Now what: If you've been following Peregrine, you're probably well aware of what a roller coaster that its phase 2 trial was. First the data was a knockout success, then it wasn't to be relied upon, and now it's a success again! Peregrine recently had the Food and Drug Administration lend its approval to the company's late-stage trial strategy and will begin enrolling patients shortly. Given the uncertainty that unfolded during phase 2 trials, I considered this late-stage trial the make-or-break one for Peregrine. Personally, though, I'd suggest keeping your distance, as small-cap biotechs don't have the best track record in producing successes in late-stage cancer trials.
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