Player Avatar zzlangerhans (99.85) Submitted: 5/20/2011 12:45:52 PM : Underperform Start Price: $8.30 NWBO Score: +8.68

Looks like Northwest has been rescued from the unratable zone by yet another putrid PR flog from BioMedReports, based on the recent announcement that DCVax will be manufactured by the Fraunhofer Institute in Europe. Here's Garza:

"Despite what anyone might say to the contrary, this morning’s news constitutes validation of NWBO’s DCVax® platform by a very large, respected and leading health organization. The fact that it took a year to land this partnership tells us what most Europeans already know: Fraunhofer is highly selective in who they partner with, let alone who would dedicate their state-of-the-art facilities to. Northwest Biotherapeutics has just been given terrific access and clout in Europe, both with regulators and with medical centers."

I'm not exactly sure where this assessment is coming from. Sounds to me like Northwest is paying someone to manufacture their snake oil. But BioMedReports is writing it up like a trial collaboration. Here's my stock red thumb pitch on Northwest:

The company recently announced they would resume enrollment in a phase II study of their tumor vaccine DCVax in glioblastoma. This study was initiated in 2007 and apparently enrollment was frozen in 2008 at 33 patients due to low funding. The company seems to have minimal available funding now and has increased projected enrollment from 141 to 240 patients.

Northwest makes repeated and extravagant claims regarding the lengthy survival of glioblastoma patients who already received DCVax. It is never clear whether these are patients who received the drug in the phase III trial years ago or in previous phase I trials. In a particularly repulsive move, they even publish a testimonial from a supposed DCVax beneficiary in their recent PR.

Despite the apparent miraculous benefits seen with DCVax, the company has already reverse split 15:1 in 2007 and continues to decline with respect to market value and available cash for operations.I believe what we're seeing now is a new push led by company management and BioMedReports (likely under contract) to pump the price to a level where a large dilutive financing will provide a significant influx of cash. We already know the company doesn't mind diluting heavily and then reverse splitting, and it seems they will plumb any depths in terms of self-promotion. I did come across one amusing sequence of PR's from 2007 where they suddenly claimed DCVax was commercially available in Switzerland, then completely retreated from that statement a week later (obviously under pressure). Their long history is fraught with misrepresentations, scam accusations, and a complete failure to progress their pipeline. At one point they initiated a phase III trial of DCVax in prostate cancer, but it was subsequently terminated without explanation and swept under the rug.

It is a mystery how the company can expect anyone to believe their treatment works when they are forced to suspend enrollment for years due to lack of funds, and now have virtually zero chance of ever reaching full enrollment. It seems this company exists solely to financially support those who draw salaries from invested funds and benefit from options granted under favorable terms.

Member Avatar Mgmirage (< 20) Submitted: 7/31/2011 8:19:55 AM
Recs: 0

At the moment the first incarnation of the phase II trial was closed for new enrollment, it was 2008 and a very difficult moment in history to attract funding.

NWBO has been public since late 2001. That was also an unfortunate time to make an IPO, and it's poor performance lead to the need of a venture capital bailout in 2004.

You've painted a picture of a very irresponsible company fiscally. To my knowledge they've really only ever operated with the funds necessary to keep taking the technology forward. Lots of other companies have churned through way more cash and burned by the wayside during the last 10 years. At the moment Northwest Biotherapeutics is lead by just 5 directors none making over 350K/yr. In terms of dilution, insiders definitely stand in a much better position than the small investor, but with the pivotal trial enrolling at 10 sites nationwide (15 by end of Q3), the horizon is out there for the moment when the different equity classes of NWBO are all undervalued.

I agree though, the results need to be repeated by this large multi-institute clinical trial. But the DCVax platform which Northwest Biotherapeutics is using has been around long enough now to prove some worth, developed at the pre-Fred Hutchinson institute of the early 90's and advanced to this current stage during the last decade by doctors at UCLA.

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