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Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Exelixis, Aveo, Threshold Pharmaceuticals Are Stocks to Watch at Start of Cancer Meeting


The annual congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology comes on the heels of the giant US cancer meeting, ASCO, in June.

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Study results coming out of a big medical meeting in Europe over the next few days are likely to move stocks of some companies testing experimental cancer drugs. The European meeting comes just a few months after a major cancer conference held in June by the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Here's a rundown of a few companies presenting at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) annual congress in Vienna, which begins September 28 and runs through October 2.

Shares of Threshold Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:THLD) tanked earlier this month when the company said its drug for pancreatic cancer didn't show statistically significant improvement in overall survival of patients in a study. Overall survival was a secondary goal of the study. Updated data will be presented over the weekend. Shares of the company are still up about 500% this year.

Ariad Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ARIA) is in the late stages of studying a leukemia drug, ponatinib. But a drug in a much earlier stage of development, AP26113, will attract attention at the European meeting. Initial data from an early study of that drug will be presented Saturday. AP26113 aims to attack the genetic contributors to lung cancer, lymphoma, and other types of cancer. Ariad plans a follow-up investor conference call on Monday morning.

Stifel Nicolaus analyst Joel Sendek says he expects positive results from the Ariad trial and predicts that it will compare favorably with an early-stage treatment being tested by Novartis (NYSE:NVS). Shares of Ariad jumped almost 90% this year.

Aveo Oncology (NASDAQ:AVEO) is testing a drug, tivozanib, with partner Astellas to treat kidney cancer. The companies hope to file for approval of the treatment in the US and Europe this year. Investors will be watching for survival data trends. The company also is testing a drug, ficlatuzumab, for lung cancer. Data for that drug also will be presented over the weekend.

Cabozantinib, the lead drug for Exelixis (NASDAQ:EXEL) will be the subject of three ESMO data presentations. The Food and Drug Administration is supposed to rule by the end of November on possible approval of cabozantinib for thyroid cancer. The company also is testing the drug in other conditions, including prostate cancer.

Study results for Roche (PINK:RHHBY) and Immunogen's (NASDAQ:IMGN) breast cancer drug trastuzumab emtansine, or T-DM1, will be presented at ESMO. The companies said last month that the drug improved survival rates. Roche applied for US approval of the treatment.

Late-stage study results of Bayer (PINK:BAYRY) and Onyx Pharmaceuticals' (NASDAQ:ONXX) regorafenib for colon cancer will be presented. Bayer won US approval for the drug on Thursday. Onyx will get royalty payments from sales. Bayer also is seeking approval for the drug to treat gastrointestinal tumors and study data of the drug for that use also is expected at ESMO.

Twitter: @brettchase

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