Earlier this month when I wrote about Aventis
This latest trial failure is the most recent disappointment in what has been a terrible year for Genasense. In May, the FDA's Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee concluded that Genasense did not demonstrate significant evidence of effectiveness in the treatment of metastatic melanoma.
Then a few weeks ago, Genta reported mixed results from a phase 3 trial in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). While the primary endpoint of this study, complete and partial remissions, was met, there was not a benefit seen from taking the drug in the important measures of patient survival and time to disease progression. Any potential positive spin on this data is muted by the fact that Aventis saw the top-line results before deciding to back out.
Genasense has not officially passed into the biotech drug graveyard, but the writing is on the wall, and it now seems to be only a matter of time. Yes, Genasense is still in clinical trials for non-small-cell lung, small-cell lung, and prostate cancers, but after so many disappointing results it is hard to be optimistic about the drug's chances in other indications.
Without Genasense, Genta is essentially a shell of a company with no means of creating value for shareholders. There are no other drugs in clinical trials to fall back on. Compounding that problem is more debt than cash on the balance sheet and ongoing class-action suits. Equity holders don't have much to claim at this point. It's no wonder the stock is down nearly 90% on the year. Given all these factors, I have to conclude that Genta is worth nothing to shareholders.
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Fool contributor Charly Travers does not own shares of any company mentioned in this article. Charly is one of the analysts contributing to the new Motley Fool Rule Breakers high-growth newsletter. Want to know more? Take a free trial today!