Investors Eye ASCO Abstracts for Potential Winners

While oncology specialists await the latest research news from the upcoming ASCO annual meeting next month, so do legions of biopharma investors. Here's a look at companies presenting pivotol trial data at this year's conference.

This article originally appeared on ONCLive.com.

While oncology specialists await the latest research news from the upcoming American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting in June, so do legions of biopharmaceutical analysts and investors. The Web has been buzzing in recent weeks with glimpses of research that ASCO has accepted for presentation from publicly traded pharmaceutical companies. Such developments are significant to investors because of the potential impact on the market for treatments for affected disease states and on the financial fortunes of the companies themselves.

As a story on TheStreet.com stock market news site explained last week, “Biotech traders start focusing on ‘ASCO stocks’ early in the year, well before the release of research abstracts.” TheStreet has put together a list of abstracts from nearly 24 pharmaceutical companies that Wall Street analysts are likely to find noteworthy. The list includes major companies with multifaceted product lines, as well as small biotechs focused on bringing their first products to market.

Kantar Health, a consulting and market research company, has winnowed the field of abstracts important to investors to nine presentations of pivotal trial data. These abstracts cover reports on two melanoma studies concerning ipilimumab (Yervoy) and PLX4032 (RG7204); two sarcoma studies involving ridaforolimus (MK8669) and pazopanib (Votrient); bevacizumab (Avastin) in ovarian cancer; erlotinib (Tarceva) in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); cetuximab (Erbitux) in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck; axitinib (AG013736) in renal cell carcinoma; and amrubicin in small cell lung cancer.

In addition, Kantar identified five presentations of negative Phase III results. These cover investigations of three acute myeloid leukemia trials involving decitabine (Dacogen), clofarabine (Clolar), and amonafide (AS1413); iniparib in triple-negative breast cancer; and motesanib in NSCLC.

Meanwhile, several major pharmaceutical companies have announced their ASCO lineups, spotlighting research they feel is important to clinicians:

• Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, will present “significant progress” in advanced skin, lung, and ovarian cancers, with key trial results on vemurafenib (RG7204/PLX4032); erlotinib; the compound MetMab; and bevacizumab.

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) will present more than 30 abstracts, with notable discussions of crizotinib in NSCLC, axitinib in renal cell carcinoma, and bosutinib in chronic myeloid leukemia. There also will be positive and negative data evaluating sunitinib malate (Sutent) in multiple tumor types.

Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE: LLY) said data from more than 30 studies will be presented, particularly Phase III results on the use of pemetrexed for injection (Alimta) in NSCLC.

Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc. is highlighting research into radium-223 chloride in patients with bone metastases from castration-resistant prostate cancer.

Incyte Corp. (NASDAQ: INCY) pointed to its plans to detail pivotal Phase III results of ruxolitinib in myelofibrosis.

To keep up to date on all market-moving news and breakthrough announcements at ACSO 2011, visit our sister site, ONCLive.com, for complete coverage.