2012 ASCO Conference Stocks
How to Trade this Most Anticipated Event
“This is just too damn easy," said Charles Cimino.
He just walked with a nine-day gain of 220% on Furiex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: FURX).
“I dropped 10 grand into the trade... and doubled it in days. You spoil me, Ian. Thanks.”
He'd soon walk with another 100% and 118% gain on Arena Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ARNA), telling me he “just about risked all the Furiex winnings on it.”
Because every one knows nothing has the power to send a biotech to the moon like the FDA.
Well... unless, of course, that biotech is presenting at the annual – and super influential – American Society of Clinical Oncology Conference in June 2012.
Sure, it's still two months away, but now is when you want to buy.
As I said in 2010: Any time a company is expected to present healthy data at ASCO, the speculation over FDA approval, buyout, and game-changing findings can jet stock prices going into the conference.
Here's what we saw heading into the 2009 ASCO conference:
Seattle Genetics (SGEN) soared from $8.25 to more than $10.50
Pfizer (PFE) jumped from $13.25 to more than $15.50
Exelixis (EXEL) jumped from $4.25 to more than $6
And ArQule (ARQL) jumped from $3.95 to more than $5.
And here's what we saw in 2008:
Immunogen (IMGN) flew from $3 to more than $4.75
Rigel (RIGL) climbed from a low of $20 to more than $24.50
Novartis (NVS) jumped from $50 to $54
And Infinity Pharmaceuticals (INFI) ran from $6.50 to $9.50
Heading into the 2010 ASCO conference, we took a position in Delcath (NASDAQ: DCTH), for examaple. It would run from a low of about $6 to more than $16 before selling off after the event.
Another big runner was Celldex (NASDAQ: CLDX).
The stock ran from about $4.70 to a pre-ASCO high of $9.43.
We could see another Celldex run into this year's conference, which is why we bought it again in Options Trading Pit.
The company is presenting results from EMERGE, a randomized Phase II study of CDX-011, at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in June 2012. CDX-011 is a treatment for metastatic breast cancer and advanced melanoma.
Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: KERX) was another one that popped big in 2010.
By 2011, we bought our favorite prostate drug stock, Dendreon (NASDAQ:DNDN) and watched it explode from $35 to $55.
Does that mean all ASCO-related stocks – even our FDA trades – trade higher heading into the conference?
Of course not. But given our success, I don't think you'll be upset.
How to Trade the 2012 ASCO Conference
As we mentioned above, we've taken a position in Celldex ahead of the conference. One of the only reasons it pulled back so hard is because of the overall market. Further downside should be limited – in our opinion – as June draws near.
But it always pays to diversify. Here are some other trades we're looking to enter.
Check out ImmunoCellular Therapeutics (OTC: IMUC), for example. It's expected to present survival data for its late stage drug candidate. According to a recent SeekingAlpha.com article:
The company's lead candidate treats glioblastoma, which is one of the most deadly forms of cancer, with the average patient living just 14 months. But when treated with ICT-107, all patients surpassed one year with the disease, and 40% were disease free after three years. The survival rates of ICT-107 have been responsible for its recent rally...
We have an eye on Array Biopharma's (NASDAQ: ARRY) presentation on Selumetinib, an ovarian cancer drug that's shown promising results.
And we're watching Aveo Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AVEO) – expected to offer results from its phase III study of tivozanib in kidney cancer.
We're looking to add even more to the list here and in Options Trading Pit – where every month, we've been revealing which biotech stocks you need to own.
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