Biovest International (BVTI.pk) and Accentia Biopharmaceuticals (ABPI.pk) have both been enjoying increased exposure, even if their respective share prices have not shown it yet. Biovest, a majority-owned subsidiary of Accentia, has been developing BiovaxID for the treatment of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, an incurable form of blood cancer.
It's been a rough going for both companies over the past few years following the announcement of positive late stage results for BiovaxID and a bout with bankruptcy, but the tide could be shifting for not just BiovaxID alone, but also for cancer immunotherapy treatments as a whole.
With Dendreon (DNDN) on a role as a result of positive news from the Provenge sales front and increased exposure from numerous media outlets regarding similar treatments, this could again become a hot sector to watch.
Last month it was announced that BiovaxID was highlighted in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, but it was another article published just this week on the Fox News website that had volume of BVTI inching upwards. Although no parallel move in share price has yet to take place, the volume spike - well more than double the average norm since the article was released - could be worth watching for those that believe that volume precedes price.
The Fox article references BiovaxID as “Kwak’s vaccine”, stating that it has "passed its Phase III trials and is moving toward the final steps of regulatory approval," and discusses cancer immunotherapeutic treatment as one of the expected medical breakthroughs for 2012.
As attention is again placed on the sector, both BVTI and ABPI could potentially see some significant price appreciation this year as updated approval time lines are announced. Both stocks trade in the thirty cent range, although Biovest is currently carrying a market cap double that of Accentia's.
Biovax has already been granted an orphan drug designation by the FDA and its progression will be a story worth watching this year, especially since the entire sector looks to be receiving some reinvigorated attention.
While Dendreon provides an example of what can happen with a successful cancer immunotherapy stock, over the short term, keep an eye on shares of both companies, given their modest increases in volume.
Disclosure: No positions. May purchase shares of BVTI and/or ABPI within the next 72 hours.