Is CEL-SCI's Phase III Cancer Treatment Even Real?

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By M.E.Garza   
Friday, 05 October 2012 00:48
icon_ceoexclusiveInvestors took note when earlier this month, when shares of CEL-SCI Corporation (AMEX:CVM), whose lead product, Multikine, is undergoing Phase III clinical trials as a treatment for head and neck cancer, broke out of a downtrend which had carried prices down since March.

  While there had been speculation that some forward looking developments might be on the way, the price action has cooled. That may change after hearing some of the responses in our exclusive video interview (below) with Cel-Sci’s Chief Executive Officer, Geert Kersten.

Just as the drug candidate Multikine is an immunotherapeutic agent consisting of a mixture of cytokines that produces an anti-tumor immune response, Kersten has a knack for creating a strong response from both loyal followers and loud critics.

He began his current leadership role at CEL-SCI back in 1995, but he’s actually been with the firm since the earliest days of its inception (circa 1987).

Forbes paints him as a pioneer in the field of cancer immunotherapy, who for over two decades has successfully steered CEL-SCI through some of the many challenging cycles in biotechnology. His critics paint him as a stubborn, secretive man at the helm of a company that has been at this game far too long.

"Well everything we do is polarizing," says Kersten. "There has never been a cancer drug that works with the body. Ours, works with the body. We believe we will have a drug that will have minimal to no toxicities. That doesn't exist today. This is the first cancer drug being developed as a true first line therapy, meaning before you get surgery, radiation or chemotherapy, we would boost your immune system. Everybody today boosts your immune system after having destroyed it. Doesn't make much logical sense, right? So everything we do is different."

One thing that Kersten certainly provides CEL-SCI is significant leadership using an interesting blend of charm and expertise in the fields of biotech, finance and law. Coupled with his own unique vision of how CEL-SCI 's Multikine product could potentially change the way cancer is treated, Kersten is vocal and clear about communicating his point of view after being challenged.

While adamant about certain key facts, he resists the temptation to tell investors exactly what upcoming catalyst is causing increased attention to shift back to CEL-SCI after all these years.

Whether one like or dislikes the stock, it’s hard to ignore the fact that late-stage biotech stocks in Phase III tend to trade up as we get closer to trial results. That makes CVM an intriguing bet for buy and hold investors. Traders and short term speculators may see other reasons altogether for taking a position, particularly after seeing Kersten and other insiders buy shares last week.

It appears that- once again- something may be cooking at CEL-SCI.

 

Disclosure: I am long CEL-SCI and do not plan to sell shares until after Phase III results or later





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