Celldex On The Rise

Terry is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.

There are many biotech stocks that target cancer, but what is good about Celldex Therapeutics (NASDAQ: CLDX) is that it is targeting many therapeutic areas as well as cancer. Celldex has gone up over 209% in one year. The reason for the rise is the results that the company has been putting out about its drug candidates, especially two of them. The company has diversified its pipeline into targeting cancers, infectious disease, and inflammatory diseases.

Trials that matter

The first trial is a vaccine candidate for front line Glioblastoma that is currently underway in a phase 3 clinical trial. Glioblastoma is a tumor in the brain that is fatal in many instances. The target population that obtains this disease is about 20,000 people per year. Celldex is off to a good start with this candidate because it has received orphan drug status both in the U.S. and the European Union. The market potential for Celldex, with its Glioblastoma drug, is estimated to be around $1 billion. 

The second drug I will discuss is the breast cancer antibody drug Conjugate. The trial is named CDX-011, and has already completed its phase 2 trial with amazing results. The drug targets a patient population with refractory/resistant GPNMB metastatic breast cancer. The results showed that patients who took CDX-011 achieved a 32% overall response rate, while patients who took the placebo only achieved a 13% overall response rate. What's interesting to note about this drug though, is that is an ADC (Antibody Drug Conjugate) which has been licensed from Seattle Genetics (NASDAQ: SGEN)

Competitors

Seattle Genetics uses Antibody Drug Conjugate for its trials. Since Celldex had to license out this technology, its apparent that Seattle Genetics has the upper hand in technology. Going forward Seattle Genetics also has a breast cancer drug that used antibody Drug Conjugate. This trial for Breast Cancer is still early because it is only about to begin phase 1 shortly, but the technology from this company is phenomenal. 

Seattle Genetics is well established, because it already has an FDA approved drug on the market. The FDA approved Adcetris on August 19, 2011 to treat patients who have relapsed or have refractory Hodgkin's Lymphoma and Large Cell Lymphoma. Hodgkin's Lymphoma is cancer of lymph tissue which includes: Lymph nodes, Bone Marrow, Liver, and other sites. The company had a great year in 2012 as Adcetris had made $210 million, compared to only $95 million in 2011. 

The next Competitor that has a big pipeline like Celldex is Ariad Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ARIA). This company has a pipeline of cancer drugs that are mainly in phase 2 trials. The company currently has one FDA approved drug named Iclusig. The drug was approved by the FDA on December 14, 2012. The good part is that the drug was approved for two indications of Leukemia. The two indications are Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML), and Philadelphia Chromosome positive acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (Ph+ALL).

Iclusig revenue is still on the low side as it hasn't sold for long, but Ariad says that Iclusig had made $6.4 million in its first launch quarter. Still Iclusig will be responsible for a big pipeline in the future. I say this because Iclusig will be used to target other cancers like Acute Myeloid Leukemia, Lung cancer, Gastrointestinal tumors, and other indications of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia. The whole pipeline is worth in the billions, and I think that it can go higher. 

Final Thought

Celldex has a growing pipeline, that will continue to grow over the years. After many good results the company continues to advance into many cancer therapeutic areas. Although it has a lot going for itself, it has to deal with a lot of other biotech companies with upcoming cancer therapies that could prove to be more efficacious in nature. Celldex should continue to be valued higher as more analysts learn about the trials, and realize the market potential that it is targeting. I would do some due diligence on this company, and accumulate for the long term. 

The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for this year. Find out which stock it is in the special free report: "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2013." Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.


Terry Chrisomalis has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Seattle Genetics. 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. Is this post wrong? Click here. Think you can do better? Join us and write your own!

blog comments powered by Disqus