Cellcor Inc. hopes that two ongoing clinical studies of its livingcell therapy will eventually counteract the bad publicity itsanti-cancer treatment has received recently.
But results from those studies are still months away, andCellcor's stock (NASDAQ:CLTX) continues to suffer. Its sharestumbled 42 percent last Thursday after the companyannounced that it had ended talks aimed at a joint marketingagreement with Critical Care of America, a network of infusioncenters. CCA was to participate in Cellcor's autolymphocytetherapy (ALT).
The latest blow came in a Wall Street Journal article publishedThursday in which a former director of Cellcor's treatmentcenter in Orange, Calif., disputed Cellcor's claims for ALT.Herschel L. Copelan, who resigned last March, now says Cellcorhas exaggerated ALT's ability to shrink tumors in kidneycancer patients.
Cellcor stock fell 25 cents a share on Thursday to close at $5.The company went public at $12.75 a share last March and hadtraded at $9 last Wednesday.
Cellcor said that it had investigated Copelan's criticism anddismissed it. "We clearly don't believe any of the claims raisedby Mr. Copelan have any validity," Harry W. Wilcox, Cellcor'schief financial officer, said Thursday.
The company claims to have copies of letters Copelan wrote toinsurance companies noting reductions in tumor size forpatients who received ALT.
Cellcor, which has widely cited a study published in a 1990edition of The Lancet as evidence of ALT's effectiveness, saidthat data from two other ongoing trials should be reported nextyear. The 1990 study showed that about 20 percent of kidneycancer patients responded to ALT.
Meanwhile, data from Cellcor's commercial ALT program havebeen accepted by a peer-reviewed scientific journal forpublication in early 1993, Wilcox said. -- Ray Potter
(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.