Seeking Alpha

Tcelna speculation possibly driving Opexa gains

  • The rumor mill is abuzz: Comments from Merck KGaA (MKGAF.PK) regarding a 2-3% market share loss (transcript) for the MS treatment Rebif at the hands of Biogen's Tecfidera are fueling speculation that the German drug and materials company may heighten its focus on Tcelna, a treatment for Secondary Progressive MS being developed in conjunction with Opexa Therapeutics (OPXA).
  • Shares of OPXA are now up 57% before the bell.
Comments (7)
  • chasingthealpha
    , contributor
    Comments (121) | Send Message
     
    This is just silly. OPXA MS drug has been considered a dud for a long time.
    7 Aug 2013, 09:11 AM Reply Like
  • delta5321
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    Can you please tell me where you have read this companies MS drug is a dud. As someone with a spouse with MS, the drug actually looks quite promising, especially for SPMS which really has no viable options.
    7 Aug 2013, 09:19 PM Reply Like
  • chasingthealpha
    , contributor
    Comments (121) | Send Message
     
    See ZZ's comment below. If truly promising, I don't think it would've taken 5 years to move to the next stage. Biogen, Teva, or Novartis wouldve came in.
    8 Aug 2013, 09:32 AM Reply Like
  • delta5321
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    Their pipeline drug seems promising actually....what information tells you its a dud?....I don't care about it from a stock perspective, I care about it as someone with a spouse with MS. There is no real treatment option for SPMS, so if it has any benefit at all, it could be valuable.
    7 Aug 2013, 09:20 PM Reply Like
  • zzlangerhans
    , contributor
    Comments (174) | Send Message
     
    Tcelna failed the phase IIb TERMS trial all the way back in 2008, and the current phase IIb Abili-T trial is based on a post-hoc subgroup analysis. Opexa has been going the "by any means necessary route" to raise cash to fund Abili-T and keep the lights on at the company, as evidenced by the manipulated price spike today followed by the massively below market dilutive financing just announced. Opexa basically picked the pockets of greedy momo traders trying to ride today's spike in share price to the moon. Hard to feel sorry for the losers, but Opexa is even slimier. Meanwhile, Opexa claims Abili-T will complete enrollment in early 2014 but they had 53/180 patients enrolled as of mid-June and their pace of enrollment has only been 5 patients/month to date. Something doesn't add up there. Expect many more dilutive financings as this sorry dinghy continues on down the creek.

     

    If you really want to follow a company that is making groundbreaking advances in MS, I suggest Biogen idec.
    8 Aug 2013, 02:57 AM Reply Like
  • rogerster123
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    As a Medical Research Specialist with only 23 years experience, sometimes I feel saddened by how medical advances become victim of speculation, WITHOUT a single concrete data point.

     

    For people looking for real information, here are some data points

     

    1. There are thousands of drugs being developed for multi-sclerosis. MERCK is not an incompetent company. They do not partner with firms because the drugs is a "dud". Millions of reports and data points are used to get board approval.

     

    2. Few weeks ago when I met with MERCK research leadership team they were quite positive about the Tcelna prospects. And since they dont have a good product in MS range, coupled with loosing market share, acquiring OPEXA is high on their radar. But OPEXA leadership is not keen in "selling out" the company (which I think is a smart choice. Why sell out now when future prospects are in billions?). Hence the partnership was formed. I cant guarantee the financial numbers (as I do not speculate) but the existing partnership, when matured, will be roughly about USD 250 Million value for OPEXA. But this one you have to do your own research, dont quote me for it.

     

    3. FDA Approvals. Its not easy to get a FDA approval - for the right reasons. But FDA also knows some drug developments are game changers. And FDA is run by REAL humans, REAL doctors, and people who want to do REAL good. Hence they have something called the fast track approval process. You can quote me on this. Tcelna is ON fast track process. FDA does not say Hey Opexa here is a fast track for you to prove your Tcelna is useless. They only use fast track when they see REAL potential in a drug. Hence the fast track for Tcelna.

     

    From an investment perspective it does not matter to me, but from a pure field of medicine, Tcelna is good, and will get approved.
    10 Aug 2013, 02:44 PM Reply Like
  • chasingthealpha
    , contributor
    Comments (121) | Send Message
     
    Please post your LinkedIn to verify your position, otherwise you are making baseless claims (which wouldn't surprise me for the Seeking Alpha community). For biotech, it is the new Yahoo message board. Also its Merck KGaA not Merck, big difference.

     

    Nothing you have said addresses previous Tcelna failures and why it will succeed in the future.
    10 Aug 2013, 08:46 PM Reply Like
DJIA (DIA) S&P 500 (SPY)
ETF Hub
ETF Screener: Search and filter by asset class, strategy, theme, performance, yield, and much more
ETF Performance: View ETF performance across key asset classes and investing themes
ETF Investing Guide: Learn how to build and manage a well-diversified, low cost ETF portfolio
ETF Selector: An explanation of how to select and use ETFs