“Wish I” Prostate Cancer Stock

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, June 29, 2007

This is the second of Bottarelli’s three “Wish I” stocks — for more info, see the first one here.

This second stock that exhibited a “pre emptive moving average” buy signal for Bottarelli’s analyst is a drug company of some sort.

“$15.06 healthcare outfit out of Seattle, Washington that’s quietly developing one of the most promising prostate cancer treatments in the country.”

They’ve already completed Phase III trials.

This drug was granted priority review status by the FDA.

“If all goes well,” (famous last words) “this $15 stock could be trading for $28, $35, or even $50 in the blink of an eye.” (or $7, as we’ll see in a moment)

Their pipeline includes “potential drug candidates for breast, ovarian, kidney, and cervical cancers, making this $15 stock far from a ‘one-trick pony.'”

So, we put all that into the Cognitationizer, and we see that this company must be …

Dendreon (DNDN), the poster child for biotech volatility.

For anyone who wants the full story of Dendreon’s crazy Spring, this Business Week article summarizes it pretty well. The prostate cancer drug is Provenge, which is essentiallly a vaccine (not a preventive one, but an active one) for prostate cancer.

Because of the timeliness of this ad, I can’t be absolutely certain this is correct (I know this is at least a couple months old, but don’t know exactly when it started). DNDN did trade at around $15 for much of April, they are based in Seattle, and they do have a lead prostate cancer drug that has completed a phase III trial, and that got priority review from the FDA back in January (though they have many more trials planned for this one, too), and they do have pipeline compounds that target all of the other specific cancers mentioned.

As many of you probably know, the fact that this is a new kind of drug has meant lots of conflicting and surprising FDA decisions — which is why it has gone from $5 to $20 and back down to $7 or so where it stands today. It seems to me to bre crazy to buy using technical analysis (whether it’s pre emptive moving averages or something else) when the stock moves erratically based solely on unknowable government decisions and scientific results. But that’s just me — there may be good reasons to buy Dendreon, and I know a lot of people who really believe in this stock and their drug, but I can’t imagine Bottarelli’s reasons are better than anyone else’s. The analysts for this one think the market might be smaller than many investors believe, even assuming it does get the expected FDA approval, and at least one of them has a price target of $5 — not so promising from today’s $7.29.

Then again, if you think the wild ride will continue you could always by DNDN options — the premiums seem relatively low for a stock with this much historical volatility. You could, but not me, I’ll sit this dance out.

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