Why Clovis Oncology Inc. Shares Were Clobbered Again

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 Clovis Oncology , a clinical-stage developer of therapies designed to treat cancer, tumbled as much as 18%, its second straight day of double-digit decline, following troubling ASCO data and analyst commentary.

So what: The big news continues to be the hangover effect from the company's presentation at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual meeting on CO-1686, its investigational non-small cell lung cancer drug designed to target T790M-positive mutation. The initial data looked very promising, with estimated median progression-free survival in excess of 12 months, according to its press release. However, it was also noted by CEO Pat Mahaffay in discussions with analysts over the weekend that a couple of CO-1686 patients had to be placed on insulin after bouts of hyperglycemia. There are now obvious safety concerns surrounding CO-1686, which investors don't believe Mahaffay addressed last night in an interview with CNBC.

The other news item affecting shares today was negative commentary from Citigroup. According to covering analyst Yaron Weber, AstraZeneca's AZN9291 appears to be superior to CO-1686 since prior concerns of cardiotoxicity for AZN92921 proved to be unfounded. With a better-than-expected safety profile, and Clovis' therapy producing high blood sugar in some patients -- which can lead to cardiovascular issues -- Weber noted that AZN9291 was the preferable candidate of the two. Weber also cut his rating on Clovis to neutral from buy and reduced his price target by more than 50% to just $53 from $109.

Now what: Even with Clovis shares down more than 50% from their 52-week high, I still feel the company could be grossly overvalued. It explored strategic options when it was worth more than $2 billion and found no takers, and now it's still worth more than $1.3 billion, yet can't seem to get a drug past mid-stage studies without some safety or efficacy problem arising. Clovis is the type of biotech company that you have to make prove its worth. Following the failure of CO-101 in late 2012, and with CO-1686 presenting potentially troubling side effects, there's just no viable reason to own Clovis in my opinion until we have late-stage, broad-based data to chew on. Until such time as we get that data Clovis will continue to burn through its cash on hand. Do yourself a favor and tread cautiously around Clovis.

Clovis may have tons of potential, but even it could struggle to keep pace with this top stock
Give us five minutes and we'll show how you could own the best stock for 2014. Every year, The Motley Fool's chief investment officer hand-picks one stock with outstanding potential. But it's not just any run-of-the-mill company. It's a stock perfectly positioned to cash in on one of the upcoming year's most lucrative trends. Last year his pick skyrocketed 134%. And previous top picks have gained upwards of 908%, 1,252% and 1,303% over the subsequent years! Believe me, you don't want to miss what could be his biggest winner yet! Just click here to download your free copy of "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014" today.

The article Why Clovis Oncology Inc. Shares Were Clobbered Again originally appeared on Fool.com.

Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.The Motley Fool owns shares of Citigroup. 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.

Copyright © 1995 - 2014 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read Full Story