IDEC has its own radiolabeled (rl) monoclonal antibody (mab) IDEC-Y2B8 that has been in trial for longer than Coulter. The big difference is that the isotope they use is yittrium-based while Coulter's is iodine-based. There are pros and cons to both, but i have heard the iodine isotopes make you radioactive such that you need to be in a hospital and shielded from others. Yittrium does not carry this risk and i believe will be allowed as out-patient.
The general procedure for administering rl mabs is to first use a plain mab to clean up the peripheral blood and bone marrow as much as possible. This is then followed by the rl-mab. Therefor there is still a roll for non-radiolabeled mabs. Also, there is no long term data on the effect the radiation has on the bone marrow and other organs.
My mother was in IDEC's clinical trial of Y2B8 last year. She was required to be isolated in the hospital for 24 hours, and shielded from other people (minimum 10') for the following two weeks. I sincerely doubt that Y2B8 can be utilized on an out-patient basis.
Just checked First Call earnings projections for Idec. They have us at .02 for June, .18 Sept, .48 Dec.(year). 1.20 for fy99. They have us at a mediam growth rate for the next five years at 60 percent in an industry that has a median growth rate of 17 percent. I think that the recent stock slide is due to uncertainy going forward for Rituxan. Both Idec and Genentec stated in their 1st quarter earnings release that not enough time has gone by to project future earnings of Rituxan. Also Coulters agressive media campaign to promote their drug and slam Idec's as being inferior has not helped investor confidence. We will probably need several more quarters of earnings before the stock continues it's upward trend. We are first to the market and we have a strong product pipeline to have future upward projections in earnings. I am look at the present weakness as a buying opportunity. I would appreciate any comments.....
I have NHL, diagnosed 4 years ago. Refractory to everything tried so far, but not doing anything dangerous. My treatment of choice right now would be Bexxar, because their results are better than naked Rituxan. Also, I'm more impressed with their "complete response" numbers than partial responses. I get partial responses (reduction of at least 50% in tumor size) without anybody doing anything and/or with strong dose of steroid.
Early results from Rituxan with yttrium trials are very impressive. As to patient being radioactive, Nuclear Regulatory Agency (I think it was that outfit) loosened up on need for isolation. Both Bexxar and Rituxan with yttrium may be done on an outpatient basis now, but, of course, in nuclear medicine, in-hospital setting. Rituxan has advantage in that every oncologist in country can administer the drug in his/her own office.
Also, early results of trials involving Rituxan with standard chemotherapy like CHOP for newly diagnosed NHL cases are also impressive.
Big disadvantage of radiolabeled monoclonal antibodies like Bexxar and Rituxan which attach to B-cells are that they wipe out B cells and recovery is from 6 to 11 months (got that statistic from Genentech's web site). Leaves patient very susceptible to infections during that period of recovery.
Am invested in both Coulter and IDEC. Am also invested in Techniclone, which has taken its investors on the ride of their lives. However, that company seems to be coming together again, at least we hope so. Their Oncolym, which is about to go into Phase III for intermediate and high grade NHL, just attaches to the cancer cells and leaves everything else alone. My understanding is that for that reason it's a much safer therapy for the patient and his/her bone marrow/immune system.
My hunch, at this point in time, and for whatever it's worth, is that soon newly diagnosed low grade (at least) NHL patients will be given naked Rituxan plus CHOP (or something similar to CHOP). It's the most direct, and easiest thing to do, with close to 100% efficacy, according to early reports. I think you would have to show you can eliminate chemotherapy completely for anything else to be a first-line therapy.