While quarantined at home, let's continue to take a look at some stocks that can rebound when the madness is over and Thanos retreats...
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isn't one that snuck up on us, we've been chatting about it for a while now due to the potential of the company's possibly ground-breaking cancer immunotherapy treatment, Multikine.
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CVM is also not necessarily a 'stock market crash pick' either, because although shares have retreated off their recent highs of over $17 when the market fell, they've rebounded nicely and are hovering right around the twelve dollar price. Given how much short interest this stock has held combined with childish attempts to drive the share price lower (see recent PR about an "investigation" by a law firm to find "possible" breaches of fiduciary duty), and shares are looking pretty good about now, given the overall market turmoil.
Before moving on - here's my disclaimer: Disclaimer: VFC has no affiliation with Cel-Sci Corp or with any third parties associated with the companies. VFC has received no compensation for this blog post, although there may be an unrelated advertisement or two at various locations on this blog. VFC does not offer advice or investment services and nothing you read here should be construed as such. VFC is just a guy with an opinion and access to a computer and a keyboard; bringing discussion and ideas to the table. #AhYeah.
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Cel-Sci is in the late stages of a robust Phase III trial testing Multikine, the company's lead developmental product, for the treatment of head and neck cancer. Multikine is one of the newer breed of cancer immunotherapy treatments, which are designed to harness the body's own immune system to fight and possibly defeat cancer cells. What is unique about Multikine, tho, is that the treatment is administered before the Standard of Care (SOC) treatment.
Why is this significant?
A patient's immune system is at its strongest prior to the commencement of SOC treatment, which includes surgery along with radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Such treatments weaken the body and therefor weaken the body's immune system, too. The vision of Multikine is to harness the patient's own immune system before it is ravaged by radiation and chemotherapy to provide the best chance for the immune system to to fight the cancer itself. In this sense, the company has eyes on moving towards a cure for cancer, rather than a treatment. (Not the words of VFC, rather ideas set forth in the most recent Cel-Sci power point presentation and some recent interviews by CEO Geert Kersten on YouTube).
Yes, using the word "cure" in association with a cancer treatment can lead to some skepticism and shock therapy, but this idea - again, according to the presentations and interviews linked above - is the goal towards which Cel-Sci wishes to march. Regardless, if successful, Multikine is likely to be considered a breakthrough cancer treatment, should it work, and the speculative investment community is keying in on this.
As previously discussed, we are closing in on the endgame
right now for Cel-Sci. It's been projected by investors and some analysts that the Multikine trial either has reached the milestone of 298 "events" - or deaths - which would end the trial and move onto the analysis phase, or that the number is going to be hit very soon. Speculation to this front was fueled with a late-February update to the Clinical Trials site
that posted a primary and study completion date of 31 March.
As we close in on the results, there has been a lot of positive signs, signs that would scream "all the clues were there" if the trial turns out to be the success that many investors believe it will be.
For starters, the trial has already lasted well beyond original expectations. Many bullish investors would naturally assume that this means that Multikine is working and extending the lives of patients.
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Over the past year, the share price has risen from around three dollars to as high as 17 before the recent market crash. Along the way some big money has been flowing in and insiders have gobbled up additional shares during periods of pullback. Shareholder letters from CEO Geert Kersten have also exuded positive vibes with the "We Believe" slogan - backed up with the pullback buys.
Additionally, an Independent Data Monitoring Committee (IDMC), which meets roughly every six months, has recommended the trial continue, another possible indicator that the trial is likely to succeed, given that IDMCs can and have halted trials due to futility.
With those positive signs in place, some investors have added on the pullbacks to accumulate shares in anticipation of results.
Another reason why interest in CVM is on the rise is that the company's LEAPS platform always pops into the news when there is a global epidemic or pandemic, such as H1N1 and the most recent Coronavirus (COVID-19). A recent press release
by Cel-Sci highlights this potential of LEAPS in treating the virus and stated that CEO Gersten is "currently in discussion with multiple health care partners" to move the work forward. In the past, I admittedly frowned upon what looked like opportune PRs that would end up going nowhere, the situation around this company has evolved, and it is very possible that Cel-Sci could be in the discussion for a COVID treatment - especially given the positive press and validation regarding immunotherapy treatments. Years ago, immunotherapy treatments were not taken as seriously as they are today by the mainstream, and - yes - Cel-Sci could be in the discussion as a major player in the immunotherapy market with the largest head and neck cancer trial ever nearing conclusion.
The LEAPS platform does give the company a fallback if Multikine fails, but in all actuality CVM is a Multikine results play - unless something materializes very quickly with LEAPS.
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With all these positive indicators, you can see why CVM is a huge play right now. Given the multi-billion dollar potential of a Multikine that works, shares will trade exponentially higher than where they are now, as the current market cap is still under half a billion.
As always, tho, the biotech sector is hugely volatile and comes with heavy risk. Even when a story looks promising, there is no guarantee of the outcome you are looking for. Trial endpoints can be missed. Results can be misleading or incomplete. Or mixed. There is no "sure thing" in the stock market, so be aware of the risk, protect your investments, and trade on research, strategy and risk mitigation, not on emotion.
CVM has already heavily rewarded bullish investors. For the past year as the likes of biotech bloggers like Adam Feuerstein have scared his readers away from making money in the stock, shares have done nothing but rise five-fold. Short sellers have been on Twitter since the four dollar mark also attempting to scare investors away, but shares still rose. There have been many opportunities to trade in and out and end up on house money along the way, but the time for trading may be over and positions have been hedged and taken leading into the expected imminent end of this very long trial.
If results are positive, longs will have plenty of reason to celebrate. But again - nothing is a sure thing in this market.
Disclosure: VFC is long CVM. Ah yeah.
Also check out the following sites for more CVM analysis:
These guys are long-time followers of CVM and break down the specifics very well. Of course, one of the most popular CVM long sites is KillCVMShorts.com.