E OXiGENE: First Patient Enrolled In Phase 1b/2 Study Of Fosbretabulin

In March I wrote a bullish article on OXiGENE (NASDAQ:OXGN), stating the company was undervalued, but weak financials, poor historical stock performance and a suboptimal manufacturing capacity would impede the company's progression to the cancer market. I argued that these inefficiencies could prompt management to sell the company at a discount relative to what I believe to be the true value of OXiGENE's lead ovarian cancer synergy, Zybrestat/Avastin. After all, OXiGENE has disappointed investors time and time again on many fronts, namely by conducting frequent capital raises and, in turn, diminishing shareholder value. Nevertheless, I reiterate my "somewhat bullish" position after OXiGENE's latest announcement of enrollment of the first patient in the Phase 1b/2 study of fosbretabulin in combination with Votrient, as this achievement should drive shares higher in conjunction with near-term clinical updates.

Some key highlights from OXiGENE's latest announcement are as follows:

  • The randomized, controlled clinical study consists of a Phase 1b dose escalation component with the fosbretabulin/Votrient combo, and a Phase 2 component comparing fosbretabulin/Votrient versus Votrient alone.
  • Clinical enrollment is expected to consist of 128 patients at sites in the United Kingdom. The primary endpoint of the study is progression-free survival (PFS), and secondary endpoints include safety, overall survival (OS), objective response rate and relevant biomarkers.
  • The study is being advanced in concert with GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK).
  • The study is sponsored by The Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and coordinated by Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Trials Coordination Unit. The University of Manchester, the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and Mount Vernon Cancer Centre are providing additional support.

I reiterate my "somewhat bullish" position on OXiGENE for several reasons. On the one hand, I believe OXiGENE stands to benefit from continuing enrollment of the Phase 1b/2 study of fosbretabulin/Votrient for advanced recurrent ovarian cancer, followed by a future topline readout. Fosbretabulin/Votrient is a combination of a vascular disrupting agent (VDA) with an oral anti-angiogenic agent that has shown to have complementary effects in ovarian cancer patients. If the study is successful - meaning both the primary and secondary endpoints are achieved - I believe shareholders could be significantly rewarded, since it would greatly increase the odds of clinical success for fosbretabulin going into a later-stage study. This comes as OXiGENE is expected to present a detailed analysis of its pivotal Phase 2 study of Zybrestat/Avastin at the upcoming International Gynecologic Cancer Society conference in Melbourne next month. Thus, as the company approaches this major catalyst, I see no imminent reason to amend my "somewhat bullish" thesis on OXiGENE.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate a position over the next 72 hours. The information presented is for entertainment purposes ...

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