|Updated: Focus on Perifosine May Shift For AEterna Zenatis Investors|
|By Brian Wilson, Contributor|
|Wednesday, 23 May 2012 08:41|
The drug is also conducting phase II trials for other types of cancer as well. Its diversity in cancer therapy is possible due to the two ways in which the drugs can inhibit cancer cell function. AEterna Zenatis’ drug can (in theory) not only prevent cancer cell recruitment of vital proteins to maintain function, but can potentially trigger apoptosis (programmed cell death) in cancerous cells. Apparently, there are some flaws to the drug’s performance on the field. In phase III trials, Perifosine failed to meet its primary endpoints. The news hit in early April and sent the stock spiraling down from ~$2/share to its current micro cap status.
AEterna Zenatis has other drugs in development, which can also make up for Perifosine’s damage to the stock. AEZS-108 is a drug simultaneously being developed for endometrial cancer (with phase II finished), ovarian cancer (with phase II finished), and castration/taxane-resistant prostate, bladder, and triple-negative breast cancer undergoing phase II trials now. After Perifosine’s disaster, it’s possible that even if the drug suffers a slow death, AEZS-108 can induce fresh bullish speculation as its phase III trials for endometrial cancer begin later this year.
AEterna Zenatis published an online abstract on AEZS-108 regarding its mechanism to combat castration-resistant prostate cancer on the ASCO 2012 (The American Society of Clinical Oncology) website. Perifosine will not be mentioned, which is interesting and shows that the company is beginning to shift its focus on the rest of its pipeline as well.
At ~$.50/share, the stock essentially ignoring the likelihood of a Perifosine approval and only partially considering the potential that AEZS-108 has on its targeted markets. Oversold conditions in the broader market also add to bullish pressure on these shares. Watch the company’s performance during ASCO – we may begin to see a push above $1/share if not more as Perifosine moves to the backburner.