Back on October 26, 2017, we published this piece on Northwest Biotherapeutics, Inc (OTCMKTS:NWBO).
At the time, the company went for around $0.16 a share and we suggested that the final couple of months of this year could be big ones for Northwest and its shareholders.
Our argument was rooted in speculation, sure, but as we said at the time, these sorts of speculative plays can often turn out favorably for anyone willing to jump in on a bit of a punt.
And that’s what has happened here.
Northwest is currently trading for a little less than $0.22, having gained 18% during the session on Friday. Intraday highs at the end of last week put the company in and around $0.23.
What drove the action and what’s next?
We suggested that we might see some data from Northwest over the weeks subsequent to our previous coverage and that – if we did – it would almost certainly get the stock running (assuming it was positive, of course). Throughout November to-date, we’ve not yet got the data we were looking for but that doesn’t mean it’s not coming and – further – we’ve managed to narrow our expectations a little to make things a bit more specific.
We think that Northwest is going to take the stage at the IPCT conference on December 6 and that – in turn – will use the presentation to update markets as to the progress of the company’s lead trial – a phase III investigation into the efficacy of Northwest’s lead development asset, a drug called DCVax-L, when used to treat glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), which is the most lethal form of primary brain cancer.
Many reading will likely already be familiar with the background on this one but for those new to the stock, Northwest has had some real difficulty over the past few years in getting this trial to completion. Enrollment was halted for what essentially amounted to more than a year and then the company decided not to enroll any more patients and – instead – to push through to completion with the already enrolled base.
Across this period, management was basically silent on the reason for the halt and – subsequently – on the progress of the trial, which translated to some strong negative sentiment surrounding the company’s stock.
The more optimistic analysts (and we are in this camp) suggest that the silence doesn’t necessarily imply a setback and that, when the trial finally gets completed and reported on, the company should see a dramatic upside revaluation.
So that’s what we are looking for going forward. The company could also present at the ESMO Immuno Oncology conference in Switzerland, which is set to take place just a couple of days after the above discussed San Diego conference, and if this is the case, any upside momentum we see on the back of the initial news should be amplified heading into mid-month.
Even if we don’t see data, or if we do see data and it’s negative, there’s still a potential lead-in play on offer here for anyone with a bit of risk tolerance. The latest run is almost certainly representative of markets buying up on Northwest in anticipation of a positive development come the start of December. During the coming couple of weeks, chances are we are going to see a continuation of this sort of speculative loading, ahead of the events outlined above.
As a near-term play, then, a position at current prices in anticipation of a continuation of the run could be smart.
The downside risk is that we don’t see a presentation or that we see weak data when it hits press. In this instance, we could see some sell the fact action.
With that noted, it doesn’t really affect our short-term play and the longer term position is likely in line for enough upside (on positive news) to warrant an exposure to the risk.
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Image courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center via Flickr
Disclosure: We have no position in NWBO and have not been compensated for this article.