I normally don't invest in clinical-stage biotechnology companies as there are extreme risks involved, but I recently stumbled upon Cleveland BioLabs (CBLI), a small company that was too enticing to resist the temptation.
Cleveland BioLabs is developing a radiation countermeasure drug called CBLB502 or Entolimod. This therapeutic drug is expected to reduce injury from radiation exposure and chemotherapy. The company is working with the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute and Roswell Park Cancer Institute among others. Entolimod is currently being developed under the FDA's animal rule, which provides a means for marketing approval when human efficacy studies are not feasible.
From Seeking Alpha author Austin Craig:
"In June of 2012, the company announced survival results for its randomized, blind, placebo-controlled, efficacy study of Entolimod in 179 rhesus macaques. The animals had a survival rate of nearly three times the control group after a single dose of the drug. The treatment followed exposure to a 70% lethal dose of total body irradiation.
Also interesting to note that given no dose of Entolimod, the survival rate is 27.5% with survivability improving quickly to the 70-75% range with a single dose. This shows that the drug is having an effect and that it is not just random occurrence."
So why do I like this stock so much?
Given that the drug works on primates, it will likely also work on humans. And if the trials show that humans do not tolerate Entolimod particularly well, I do believe that it will still be bought by the military and stockpiled by various governments. It is the lesser of two evils... What would you rather suffer from: radioactivity-related diseases or a drug that offers some hope but may come with side effects?