Northwest Biotherapeutics (NWBOD.OB) stock has seen some action recently. Without a doubt, this can be attributed to its latest press release about testing on its latest cancer treatment option, followed by news of the reverse split in its common stock.
Cancer is one of the most prevalent diseases in the modern era due to increasingly stressful lifestyles and contamination in our food, water and air. In essence, the latest trial from NWBO attempts to successfully treat cancers that are currently inoperable due to patients having multiple tumors and where surgery to remove tumors isn't recommended, amongst other reasons.
Should these trials be successful, speculators in the stock market won't be the only people filled with enthusiasm and hope for the future. The heart-warming patient stories on the company's website are worth having a look at.
On the operations side, things are certainly looking up with the company winning approvals for trails in the UK, securing a $5.5 million grant from the German government and forging partnerships with UK university hospitals. That should add further impetus in the stock price in the coming months.
Those investors who use financial statements as a basis for research should look the other way, though. The financials don't paint such a pretty picture. Trials don't make money, and a development-stage company with no income can only survive for so long.
Competing with Northwest in the biotechnology development stage space are Agenus (AGEN) and Dendreon Corp (DNDN). Dendreon has a few drugs in the development pipeline which are a long way from entering the market, a major factor in determining investor sentiment towards this stock. The market value sank over 70% this year, for a few reasons, one of which is questions over its Provenge drug not living up to market expectations.
Northwest and Agenus have gained some lost ground and look to be leaving Dendreon behind, as can be seen in the chart below. For speculators, this picture certainly does tell a thousand words.
Agenus has the biggest advantage over its competitors with partnerships with big pharma outfits such as GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Its revenue base is also on a stronger front, with licensing and royalty fees from GSK and other partners.
The only competitive advantage that Northwest offers is that its therapies are for cancers that are currently considered inoperable. In my research, I can't find a company that offers the same therapies or testing as Northwest.
Big players Novartis (NVS) and Pfizer (PFE) are also working on similar treatments, and if the trials do not go according to plan, I venture to say that either of them would see a partnership with Northwest's technology as a viable option. Announcements of such partnerships with Big Pharma will only serve as rocket fuel for Northwest's stock price and capital base.
My warning, though: This stock is only suitable for speculative accounts. The previous trials have gone well, but are not an indicator of future trials.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.