Biotech investors brace for annual ASCO data dump

Tomorrow night, the folks at ASCO will do their big abstract dump, showering the biotech world with an advance glimpse at the data that will make a few fortunes and lose others as share prices gyrate in response.

Anyone looking for a primer on how this will play out should check out Adam Feuerstein's excellent take on TheStreet. Feuerstein notes that Celldex Therapeutics, Keryx and Delcath Systems have already seen their share prices surge ahead of the big science meeting. More tentative increases have been noted for Pharmacyclics, Ziopharm, Arqule and Sunesis.

ASCO offers a closely watched stage for most of the big advances developers make in cancer therapies. Up until recently it limited distribution of the abstracts to its members, and the wizards on Wall Street wasted no time in figuring how to break into that loosely guarded system. As a result, ASCO came up with the public dump.

There will be a lot of scrambling tomorrow as analysts rush to glean who will be this year's winners and losers. But as Feuerstein observes, the abstracts often provide only a crude and incomplete look at studies that will get a much closer review at the actual meeting.

- here's the report from TheStreet