Why Clovis Oncology's Shares Were Decimated


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 oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company Clovis Oncology (NAS: CLVS) were hammered on Monday, falling nearly 42%, following the release of disappointing clinical data for the company's metastatic pancreatic cancer drug, CO-101.

So what: Details of the LEAP trial were released this morning, showing that Clovis' CO-101 had no difference in overall survival when compared to the current standard of treatment, Gemzar, made by Eli Lilly (NYS: LLY) . Both drugs boasted a median survival rate of six months, and, according to its CEO, Patrick Mahaffy during a conference call following the news release (and via Reuters), the results were "even more ambiguous than we could have imagined." Subsequently, Clovis has halted development of CO-101 and will instead focus on CO-1686, its early stage experimental lung cancer treatment, which should have data out in the first half of 2013.

Now what: If that wasn't enough of a kick in the pants, after the bell on Friday, Celgene (NAS: CELG) released its earnings results along with a study showing that its cancer blockbuster Abraxane, when combined with Lilly's Gemzar, improved survival rates in patients with pancreatic cancer. Clovis does have one thing going for it: $6.78 in cash per share with no debt; however, even that balance is slowly dwindling because of clinical trial expenses. For now, I'm perfectly happy keeping my distance from Clovis following today's train wreck.

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The article Why Clovis Oncology's Shares Were Decimated originally appeared on Fool.com.

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