What: Celldex Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CLDX) is up about 10% in late-day trading on Friday after releasing earnings yesterday and presenting data at the Society for the Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) Annual Meeting today.
So what: Reporting earnings certainly shouldn't have any effect on Celldex's shares. The biotech doesn't have any drugs on the market. Revenue in the third quarter was a measly $1 million that Celldex Therapeutics got as part of its clinical trial collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) and its research and development agreement with Rockefeller University.
Investors are likely excited about the possibility of actual sales in the not too distant future. Celldex's pivotal phase 3 trial, ACT IV, testing its lead drug Rintega in glioblastoma is set to reach the required number of events to perform the second interim analysis later this year. Investors will learn the data in early 2016. If the trial can be stopped early, Celldex could submit the drug for approval at that point.
At SITC, Celldex Therapeutics presented data for varlilumab, an antibody that binds and activates CD27, a protein that stimulates the immune system. While the data is interesting and suggests a mechanism of action for varlilumab, it's of the preclinical variety. No one gets a medal for curing a mouse of cancer -- especially when the scientist gave the mouse the cancer in the first place.
Varlilumab is already in the clinic, being tested with multiple drugs including Bristol-Myers Squibb's immuno-oncology drugs Opdivo and Yervoy. Celldex and Bristol-Myers Squibb are sharing the clinical trial costs for the phase I/II trial combining varlilumab and Opdivo that began in January. Results of that trial will be more of a reason for the stock to move than preclinical data.
Now what: Celldex Therapeutics has a lot of upcoming data readouts with the ACT IV trial results having the biggest potential to move shares higher or lower. Between now and then we may have multiple swings that have more to do with sentiment than actual data.
Brian Orelli has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Celldex Therapeutics. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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