Written by Allen Caron
13% of all deaths worldwide are caused by cancer. When it comes to this disease, people are willing to try just about anything for a cure. People around the world are turning to treatments derived from things like scorpion venom and food poisoning bacteria as potential cures for cancer. However, there are plenty of legitimate, non-fringe medical approaches. Biotech companies, both large and small cap, have been working toward these legitimate cancer cures and treatments. News of breakthroughs (sometimes literally) comes out almost daily from companies of all sizes. As Cancer.org points out, there are ten major types of cancer treatments, each of which is comprised of hundreds or thousands of specific medications, techniques and equipment types. Companies that can find working cures and complete successful clinical trials are likely to see increased profits that come along with commercially marketing a treatment for cancer.
While cancer treatment is a huge topic to cover, we’ve pulled together a short list of small cap stocks that show promise for people battling cancer and perhaps for investors, too. These are the small cap stocks that are currently on our radar that may be of interest to health care investors.
The last time we discussed cancer treatment on May 31, we explored Berkeley Heights, NJ-based Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:CYCC) as the company wrapped up a secondary stock offering that netted them $19 million. CYCC is currently conducting two clinical trials on its sapacitabine and seliciclib compounds. In September, the company announced that its sapacitabine compound was active against 75% of primary ovarian cancer (POC) samples isolated from patients. More recently, the company was issued two new patents for specific uses of sapacitabine, including the dosing regimen used in the company’s SEAMLESS study. The study plans to look at treatment for acute myeloid leukemia in the elderly, myelodysplastic syndromes, chronic lymphocytic leukemia and solid tumors including breast, lung, ovarian and pancreatic cancer. The company is also conducting clinical trials combining their sapacitabine and seliciclib compounds in cancer patients with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. CYCC closed November 11th at $3.86, up $0.20, with a market cap of $68.91 million. Its 52-week trading range is $2.75 – $8.18.
Liege, Belgium-based MDxHealth SA * (EBR:MDXH) develops molecular diagnostic tests for the early detection of cancer and personalized treatment decisions. Recently, the company announced that its DOCUMENT clinical validation trial for the company’s ConfirmMDx prostate cancer test met its primary endpoints. The non-invasive test is a significant and independent predictor for men with prostate cancer who are considering a repeat biopsy. MDxHealth’s test outperformed even the Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test (which, while relatively effective, has risks of over diagnosis and other uncertainties). MDXH closed November 11th at $2.92, down $0.05, with a market cap of $99.33 million. Its 52-week trading range is $1.92 – $3.15.
Novelos Therapeutics, Inc (OTC:NVLS), based in Newton, MA, works to develop and commercialize oxidized glutathione compounds to identify and potentially help treat cancers. The company currently has four compounds in active research and development: LIGHT, HOT, GLOW2, and COLD. Two of the compounds are in clinical trials, while the other two are preclinical. Each compound is retained in cancer cells, aiding doctors in locating cancerous cells during treatment while minimizing harm to normal cells. In July, the company announced a change of leadership. Dr. Simon Pedder was appointed Acting Chief Executive Officer on October 7th of this year, replacing Harry Palmin. Dr. Pedder brings 25 years of experience in the field to the company, including founding Chelsea Therapeutics, where he most recently served as President and CEO. NVLS closed November 11th at $0.355, up $0.055, with a market cap of $20.09 million. Its 52-week trading range is $0.29 – $1.03.
The last time we reported on Rockville, MD-based EntreMed Inc (Nasdaq:ENMD), it had received a patent for its ENMD-2076 compound in China. Today, its angiogenic kinase inhibitor is in a Phase II clinical trial for ovarian clear cell carcinomas. ENMD also wants to test the compound for triple-negative breast cancer and are currently accepting enrollments. The company has a significant presence in Beijing as part of its plan to market ENMD-2076 in both the United States and China (two of the top three countries affected by breast cancer). ENMD closed November 11th at $1.69, down $0.06, with a market cap of $45.94 million. Its 52-week trading range is $1.23 – $3.73.
Cross-border, US domestic and international small cap biotech companies are heavily invested into finding treatments for various types of cancer. While the search for a cure for cancer continues, site-specific treatments may become more effective and available for a larger percentage of the population – good news for those with cancer and perhaps health care investors looking for new technology investments to pursue.