Vical: A Review Of, And Update On, Allovectin

Theodore Cohen profile picture
Theodore Cohen

It has been two months since I last discussed Vical (VICL). In that time, the stock rose from $3.72, and after peaking at just over $4.75 early last December, dropped back to $3.61 on the heels of a follow-on offering on January 6, 2012. I’ll discuss the current technical situation below, but first, a few words on the company in general and Allovectin in particular.

Late December and early January is the time when pundits of all stripes roll out their predictions for the New Year. Nowhere is this more true than on Wall Street, where analysts, columnists and reporters "rush to judgment," climbing all over each other in their attempts to let clients and readers alike "in" on the latest wisdom from their crystal balls (this year’s version no doubt imported from China).

Proper etiquette requires, of course, that we not ask embarrassing questions regarding anyone’s performance during the previous year. (Remember, on Wall Street, the rule is: “Past performance is no guarantee of future results.”) Rather, we are asked, as a matter of faith, to accept whatever insights are being delivered from On High on the basis that, absent His blessing, they at least carry the imprint of the writer’s firm.

So, I found interesting, in reviewing the flood of prognostications on the stocks I follow, one small paragraph inserted in a recent screed written by Adam Feuerstein of that was published in late December, 2011:

“Meaningful clinical trials results in 2012 to start thinking about now include two phase III studies of cancer immunotherapies, or ‘vaccines.’ These are Oncothyreon's (ONTY) Stimuvax in non-small cell lung cancer ... and Vical's Allovectin in melanoma (data mid-year.) I've already predicted failure for both but obviously plenty of people disagree and believe one or both of these

This article was written by

Theodore Cohen profile picture
Theodore J. Cohen, Ph.D., a research scientist, has been an investor for more than 50 years. Since 1980, he has focused his attention on investment research and investigative analyses of companies developing therapeutic drugs in the biotech sector. Dr. Cohen is a frequent contributor of Guest Opinions (op-ed pieces) to the Bucks County (PA) Courier Times (circulation: 80,000), where, since 2007, he has addressed such varied subjects as the conflicts of interest (COIs) associated with two members of the Provenge advisory committee (AC); the U.S. Senate’s Durbin Amendment, to tighten COI reviews of FDA AC members; and naked short selling. Cohen is the author of the award-winning novels Death by Wall Street: Rampage of the Bulls (AuthorHouse, 2010) and House of Cards: Dead Men Tell No Tales (Outskirts Press, 2011), which were inspired by real events. The books are available from, B&N, and 26,000 online bookstores worldwide. For details, see

Recommended For You

Comments (17)

To ensure this doesn’t happen in the future, please enable Javascript and cookies in your browser.
Is this happening to you frequently? Please report it on our feedback forum.
If you have an ad-blocker enabled you may be blocked from proceeding. Please disable your ad-blocker and refresh.