Why Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Shares Skyrocketed

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Peregrine Pharmaceuticals , a developer of monoclonal antibodies targeted at cancer therapies, soared as much as 34% after the company agreed with the Food and Drug Administration on a late-stage trial design for Bavituximab.

So what: Peregrine announced today that it's come to an agreement with the FDA for its second-line non-small-cell lung cancer immunotherapeutic treatment, Bavituximab. The trial will include about 600 people worldwide and will compare Bavituximab with docetaxel versus just docetaxel alone, with overall survival being the primary endpoint. Peregrine expects to initiate this trial before the end of the year.


Now what: This might appear to be an exorbitant move for a small-cap biotech that's merely getting the thumbs-up from the FDA to run its late-stage trial. However, if you recall, Bavituximab's road to a phase 3 trial has been wrought with controversy. First, it supposedly more than doubled survival in mid-stage trials. Then, just a few weeks later, its CEO, Steven King (no, not that one!), delivered a nightmarish tale by informing investors not to trust these results. Finally, months later, it re-released the results, demonstrating a clinical benefit again. The simple fact that the FDA agreed to Peregrine's late-stage trial is in and of itself a big success. As for me, I'm still going to keep my distance, as small-cap cancer stocks have a terrible history of phase 3 success.

Craving more input? Start by adding Peregrine Pharmaceuticals to your free and personalized watchlist so you can keep up on the latest news with the company.

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The article Why Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Shares Skyrocketed originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services  free for 30 days . We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that  considering a diverse range of insights  makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a  disclosure policy .

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