Exelixis Shares Got Decimated: What You Need to Know

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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 biotech Exelixis (NAS: EXEL) are being dumped like the plague today, down by as much as a gut-wrenching 41% so far, after the company failed to reach an agreement with regulators over special rules with its phase 3 trial.

So what: The drug in question, cabozantinib, is an experimental prostate cancer drug, and the company plans on measuring its effectiveness by pain reduction in the trial. Exelixis has decided to proceed with the study since it is in the company's best interest, despite lacking regulators' blessings.

Now what: Exelixis is looking to initiate the trial by year's end, and a different trial to measure overall survival in the first half of 2012. The company indicated that leading investigators and consultants advised it to proceed, since it would be in the best interests of patients and Exelixis to initiate the trial as soon as possible. It's a risky move to proceed without getting regulators to sign off on the trial, but biotech investors should be no strangers to risk.

Interested in more info on Exelixis? Add it to your watchlist byclicking here.

At the time this article was published Fool contributorEvan Niuholds no position in any company mentioned.Click hereto see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Exelixis.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Exelixis. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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