It's been a little more than two years now since CVM made some real noise on the market, but recent events may be creating another perfect storm of news and attention that could spark new life into this potential big game play...
Whether it was related to trading under the radar or due to a general lack of investor interest since the Multikine Phase III trial was still in its earlier stages, shares of Cel-Sci Corp. (CVM) spent the better part of last year stuck in a rut that did little to inspire confidence or enthusiasm for what might be in store.
That all changed last week, however, as a growth spurt in trading volume culminated in a 16% price increase on Friday, making CVM a stock to watch for the coming week and beyond.
Cel-Sci's Multikine is currently being investigated in a worldwide Phase III trial as a standard of care treatment for cancers of the head and neck. Two major partners have already come on board to share the cost of conducting the trial in turn for a share of any potential sales revenues generated, as per the respective agreements.
In Israel, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has kicked off its portion of the trial and holds rights to commercialize the product, pending approvals, in Israel, Turkey, Croatia and Serbia. Orient Europharma, on the other hand, has signed on for any future distribution in Taiwan.
In all, over 800 patients are expected to enroll in the global trial and the company recently conducted a financing deal to fund the trial progression. While no interim data has yet to be released to the public at this point in time, recent comments by CEO Geert Kersten emphasized that encouraging "observations" from the trial have led the company to authorize a trial expansion by 15 sites.
Noted Kersten: "We are encouraged by recent observations from the study and therefore feel that all resources should be put into getting this study completed as quickly as possible to definitively establish Multikine’s effectiveness. That is why we are adding as many as 15 clinical centers in these 4 countries.”
Concerns about the overall length of the trial may have been why some investors were shying away over the past year, and while there's still been little insight into how many patients have been enrolled, any hints that the trial could come to a conclusion ahead of schedule could be enough to generate enough buzz to draw in some new investors who might be looking for the next Dendreon.
Multikine differs from Provenge-like treatments in the sense that it is an "off the shelf" treatment that is being tested as a potential standard-of-care therapy. If successful in this Phase III, that could spell blockbuster.
It's always a risky proposition banking a whole lot of resources towards an experimental cancer immunotherapy treatment, but DNDN provides a fine example of just how significant the returns can be when one makes it through the last stages of trial development and warrants and FDA approval.
Cel-Sci may be receiving some additional attention as the sector rebounds thanks to encouraging Provenge numbers, but any speculation into positive Phase III Multikine results could lead to a quick spike in price.
This one has been known to move quick when attention and speculation create a perfect storm of buzz, so it's worth paying due attention to developments following last week's spike in price and volume.
CVM also has a history of being a volatile play - and that's not likely to change over the near term - so, in my opinion, it may be worth having some trading shares on hand to secure gains in the event a significant move materializes.
Keep an eye on CVM - could be game time again.
Disclosure: Long CVM.