McCamant also sees market-moving data coming from Pharmacyclics Inc.’s (PCYC:NASDAQ) drug ibrutinib (PCI-32765), a small-molecule Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor. Ibrutinib is close to entering phase 3 for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and is being tested in mantle cell lymphoma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. “At the American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting in December, the phase 1b/2 and phase 2 data in CLL just blew people away,” says McCamant.
“You don’t get cancer drugs that are this effective,” he says. “This is the best drug candidate I’ve ever seen. The drug is going to be the monotherapy and combination therapy of choice.” Senior Analyst and Managing Director Michael King of JMP Securities is also very interested in Pharmacyclics, and he knows that investors’ ears are tuned into any new data. He refers to ibrutinib and its target BTK as a “very seminal discovery” in medicine. “We think ibrutinib is going to be a big winner over time. It’s certainly changing the paradigm for CLL treatment.”