Today’s little tease comes to us from Hilary Kramer, who I briefly wrote about way back before the Gumshoe Vacation (that was the “Apple Killer,” which inspired a bit of discussion). This time she’s telling us that she’s got a “Cancer Killer” that’s ready to break out — and yes, killing cancer certainly sounds more important than killing Apple, regardless of how you feel about black turtlenecks and Adobe Flash … so who is it?
Here’s the intro:
“July 7, 2011
“The last time I recommended this stock, it rocketed 38% in just 3 days.
“I expect even bigger returns this time around.
“In an epic breakthrough, this little-known biotech company has developed one of the most exciting medical advances of the last 30 years.
“The treatment is so revolutionary and the impact so far reaching, it will blow you away.
“And today, the company sits on the cusp of receiving a coveted approval. After months of closed-door meetings, a crucial decision being released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services before the end of the month could cause this stock to soar literally overnight. You must get on board before this happens.”
Yeah, I know — July 7 was a few days ago … but even your favorite neighborhood Gumshoe needs a vacation now and then. And if it makes you feel any better, that “crucial decision,” as I read it, came out the week before Kramer’s “special alert” and the stock didn’t really “soar” just yet. Maybe she actually wrote this back in June and the ad folks just keep using it, since the “crucial decision” came at the end of last month, on June 30.
So who is it? One more bit of the hinty spiel:
“Welcome to the Era of Personalized Medicine….
“We’re ushering in an era of personalized medicine that will see doctors and scientist will develop drugs specifically tailored only to you. The company I’m recommending today is far ahead of its competitors in doing just that.
“In an epic breakthrough, after decades of research, this small, little-known biotech company has developed one of the most exciting medical advances of the last 30 years—the first ever cancer vaccine.
“This is no ‘gee-whiz, someday in the future’ kind of thing…this drug is already approved and in use.
“The treatment takes a patient’s own cells and teaches their immune system to attack cancer cells the way it fights a virus.
“The company already has FDA approval to use the drug for a specific type of cancer today. But they are using the same proven technology to develop treatments for other types of cancer, including breast, ovarian and colon cancer.
“There is no doubt that when we look back ten years from now, this will be one of the biggest game-changers of the decade. And the company will deliver windfall profits to investors who get on board at the right price.”
This must be Dendreon (DNDN), maker of the FDA-approved Provenge for prostate cancer. This is indeed the cutting edge of cancer treatments right now, a personalized cancer vaccine that is created for each individual and delivered intravenously in a few doses over the course of a month … for $93,000.
Which is why the big issue had been, for many people, whether Medicare and Medicaid would cover the drug — those insurance programs are not allowed to consider cost in their coverage decisions (which is also why they can’t negotiate for better drug prices), and a preliminary decision had been made to extend coverage to Provenge for some prostate cancer patients several months ago, so the final decision on June 30 was expected by the market and didn’t impact the stock price much at all.
There’s a pretty good AP article about the Medicare/Medicaid decision here — basically, the drug will be covered for the indicated use (prostate cancer patients whose disease has progressed very far and who haven’t responded to other treatments), but might not be covered for “off-label” use, which as I read it would include “early” use in prostate patients as well as use against other cancers.
That still leaves a large market, with analysts estimating that revenues next year will come close to a billion dollars