For several years, Asco has been primarily a huge pharma conference, and 2021 only confirmed this trend. The most extensive stories at the symposium focused on the threat of low-cost cancer medications, the expansion of PD-(L) 1 inhibition into adjuvant situations, and the confirmation of a new checkpoint mechanism — all of which were essentially big-company topics.
Nonetheless, an examination of stock movers during the Asco period indicates a gold mine for biotech investors, with PDS, a relatively obscure business, taking home the prize for the most top climber. Meanwhile, Black Diamond was the biggest loser, falling behind in becoming a fiercely competitive targeted lung cancer sector.
Of course, the virtual meeting technically finished last week when all presentations were made public on June 3. Other issues, such as Covid-19, the approval of the Alzheimer’s medicine Aduhelm, and concerns about pricing control, all significantly impacted biotech equities during this time. Even though PDS’s lead project, the HPV16-targeting cancer vaccine PDS0101, failed to live up to data in the abstract at the Asco presentation, the small-cap group’s stock fell on Monday.The enthusiasm for PDS’s lead project, the HPV16-targeting cancer vaccine PDS0101, is undeniable. In an NCI-led phase 2 trial combining PDS0101 with Merck KGaA’s bintrafusp alfa and M9241, 14 patients with different HPV16-positive malignancies had a 71 percent overall response rate.
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