Trading the Biggest Biotech Conference of the Year

Posted by Ian Cooper - Thursday, April 14th, 2011

3 Drug Stocks To Watch Going Into ASCO

Even though the American Society of Clinical Oncology's (ASCO) super-influential conference may not kick off for another two months, it's best to start backing up the truck now...

You see, this very conference is where biotech companies announce some of their clinical research data.

Historically, we've see biotech stocks run up going into the conference.

What's even nicer for these biotech stocks is that abstracts will be released on ASCO.org on May 18th after the closing bell, followed by this year's ASCO event, which will be held June 3-7 in Chicago.

Some of you may remember we said the same thing almost a year ago, buying:

  • Provectus (PVCT.OB) for 36% gains

  • Celldex Therapeutics (CLDX) for 33% gains

  • Pharmacyclics (PCYC) for 55% gains

  • And Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (KERX) for a fat 63% gain

KERX chart 041311

Just as we said last year, nothing has the power to send a biotech stock up like this annual meeting.

And the real trick to maximizing your ASCO returns is to buy at least two months in advance...

That time is now.

You want the opportunity to profit from the speculation and buzz that'll jet certain stocks north as we head into the conference. And on the flip side, it's the typical post-ASCO selling event you have to look out for.

What We Like for 2011 ASCO

Between now and the June 2011 conference, we've got a close eye on prostate cancer and treatments.

Prostate cancer is big news in cancer treatment circles. It's the most common cancer in the world, with more than 230,00 new cases diagnosed every year.

More than 27,360 prostate-related deaths have been reported in recent years. And there are no early symptoms of the conditions.

As such, any company boasting treatment that can help prostate cancer sufferers stands to explode.

Check out ASCO presenter Dendreon (NASDAQ: DNDN). The company stands to skyrocket to $100 share (eventually) on news that Medicare will cover the $93,000 price tag for its advanced prostate cancer treatment drug, Provenge.

DNDN chart 041311 

For Medicare to pay out $93,000 for that treatment says a lot about the seriousness of prostate cancer...

Going into the 2011 ASCO conference, it'd be nice to see a repeat of the 2010 May stock jump.

We're also keeping a close eye on Exelixis Inc. (NASDAQ: EXEL).

The company is said to be working with Goldman Sachs to field takeover offers after experimental prostate drug XL184 was found to help men whose prostate tumors reached the bone.

While the stock has run up nicely since November, a tightly coiled spring indicates further upside is a possibility going into ASCO.

EXEL chart 041311

Analysis of XL184, an advanced candidate in EXEL's pipeline, showed that 18 of 20 prostate cancer patients “achieved either complete or partial resolution of lesions on bone scan...”

Top that off with the fact that EXEL now owns the rights to the drug after Bristol-Myers Squibb gave them back, and any positive news from ASCO could send this stock skyward.

Also watch out for Medivation (NASDAQ: MDVN) and its MDV-3100.

According to studies, MDV-3100 “impedes movement of the androgen receptor to the nucleus of prostate cancer cells...”

Pre-clinical data published in April 2009 also shows that this treatment was superior to AstraZeneca's prostate cancer drug Casodex (bicalutamide). We're hoping to hear ASCO reports on its Phase III interim analysis.

Again, positive news on Phase III interim reports will only serve to boost shares of Medivation.

Meantime, my recommendation is to buy all of these prostate cancer-related stocks.

Stay Ahead of the Herd,

Ian L. Cooper
Editor, Wealth Daily

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