Biotech Stock Mailbag: AVI, Aveo, Spectrum
Aveo believes strongly that tivozanib will compete with Pfizer's(PFE) Sutent as first-line therapy, mainly on superior safety and tolerability. Obviously, the doubters disagree, especialy since tivozanib wasn't studied head to head against Sutent. Pfizer is running a phase III study of axitinib in front-line kidney cancer, also using Nexavar as a comparator, which adds more risk to the Aveo story.
The investor skepticism may change dramatically when the tivozanib data are presented at ASCO. We'll see. It is one of the more important events at the meeting this year, particularly with Aveo trading so weakly.
Jay B. writes, "Spectrum making you look foolish."
I'm getting used to saying this: I'm wrong about Spectrum Pharmaceuticals(SPPI) -- again!
First-quarter Fusilev sales of $51 million rocked the house and track almost perfectly with monthly sales data from Wolters Kluwer (WK), which forecasted $56 million for the quarter.
Fusilev monthly sales are growing, not shrinking or even remaining stagnant. Growing. Sales from January through March, according to WK: $13.8 million, $18.5 million and $23.3 million. As long as the leucovorin shortage continues, second-quarter Fusilev sales could reach $60 million-plus. With no growth at all, Fusilev sales are on pace for $200 million this year, so it's not inconceivable to see the drug do $250 million-plus.
Although I'd like to forget it, I recently opined that Fusilev's growth was finished; the drug would be lucky to grow 10% to 15% this year, I said.
Oof. Stupid me.
I expected Spectrum shares to trade higher Thursday on optimism about Fusilev's growth, but instead the stock sold off rather hard, down 6% to $10.52. I don't get it, but then, that's been my problem with Spectrum all along.
@pharatsis asks, "Any silver lining for $CELG long today?"
Not this week. Celgene(CELG) first-quarter earnings really $%&! the bed. Top- and bottom-line misses; Revlimid sales weak (for the third consecutive quarter!) Ugly. Celgene shares slumped Thursday. The lesson here: Stocks that trade at premium price-to-earnings multiples are not allowed to have bad quarters, lest they be punished with "multiple contraction."