Monday, August 25, 2008

BVTI.OB Not Acting Like a Stock With Good News Pending....

It's almost September now, and ever since I sold my position in BVTI.OB, I've been keeping a close eye on the stock price for a possible chance to buy back in.

Earlier this year we expected Biovest (BVTI.OB), a subsidiary of Accentia Pharmaceuticals (ABPI), to release results on the Phase III trials conducted with their BiovaxID vaccine that treats Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. When the time came in April for expected results, we got a 'fluff' PR that did not give us the results of the trials as we expected, but we were informed that the results were reccommended to be unblinded in September. This PR sparked an increase in share price, but not to a point that I would have expected with positive results. Since my confidence in the stock was shaken (and stirred), I sold for a 60% profit (I missed selling higher since I was not around a computer earlier that day!). A 60% profit is good no matter what the situation, but I decided that I might buy back in at a lower price before September....just in case.

Just weeks before Biovest's PR stating that the results would be unblinded in September, Biovest's parent company, Accentia, had released a similar 'fluff' PR regarding it's Sinuphase trials that ultimately failed. That fluff by Accentia sent the share price up only to be shot down by the subsequent 'Well, it looked good, but the trial failed' PR weeks later. With the artificial rise in share price, the big boys could get out with a profit, leaving the bagholders to ride it down on bad news.

Another factor is that the FDA does not seem inclined to approve these new cancer treatments. Aside from the BiovaxID news, we await interim Phase III results for Dendreon's IMPACT trial with Provenge. The Biovest story is not quite as drawn-out as the Provenge story, but BiovaxID is another addition to the soap opera that is the FDA's relationship with cancer vaccines.

To date, Russia is the only country in the world that has approved a cancer vaccine; Antigenic's Oncophage to treat kidney cancer.
Russia is determined to become relevant again, and aside from huge oil influence and a military resurgence, alternative cancer treatment is another way they're taking the lead. These cancer vaccines have a huge following, from patients and investors alike, and it's quite possible that Russia could become a destination for cancer patients looking for alternative treatments.

But back to BiovaxID.

The stock has been hovering in the .35-.40 cent range for a while now, and as the unblinding of the results looms closer, I would think the stock would've started a move upward if anyone out there was suspecting good news. Today the stock dropped to .35 cents on large volume.

The possibility exists that good news may be forthcoming, but the stock remains low because of the previous failures of cancer vaccines both in trials and non-approvable letters from the FDA, but VFC doesn't smell that scenario, mostly due to the shady PRs released in April.

While BVTI.OB is definitely worth watching, unless we get some indication of positive news, I'll be sitting this one out.

Happy Trading!

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