Orange County Business Journal

Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Shares Plummet after Clinical Trial Disclosure

Vita Reed Monday, September 24, 2012

Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s shares fell sharply today after the drug developer told analysts that they shouldn’t rely on clinical data about its lung cancer drug candidate.

Shares of Tustin-based Peregrine were down 76% in midday trading to a market value of $126 million.

Peregrine is developing bavituximab for lung cancer. The drug maker said that it discovered major discrepancies between some patient sample test results and treatment code assignments upon reviewing mid-stage trial data.

The company’s shares jumped nearly 60% on Sept. 7 after it said that patients who were treated with bavituximab in a mid-stage clinical trial lived twice as long as those who only received chemotherapy.

Peregrine said that it discovered the discrepancies while preparing for a meeting with regulators, and that the source appeared to be an unnamed third party that it contracted to code and distribute bavituximab.

Peregrine’s shares have been up and down over the past few months with double-digit rises and falls.

Boosters were hoping that the new trial results would help the company attract a partner and push it into third-stage development. Peregrine officials have been talking with potential partners in recent months.

But some investors have said Peregrine is overvalued and its stock price rise—shares were up 439% for the year until today’s stumble —is based on hype and speculation. They have noted that a previous study for bavituximab failed.