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Anyone interested in biotech stock profits should know the answer to this question: "What is the ASCO Effect"?
You see, there's an annual event that offers up some huge trading opportunities, courtesy of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).
ASCO's annual meeting always seems to have everyone's ears. That's because its "ASCO Effect" has been known to benefit biotech stocks that reveal news at the conference.
In fact, some stocks surge more than 200% in the weeks leading up to the event.
This year's meeting will be held in Chicago from June 1-June 5 – and some stocks already have started to run.
If you're interested in cashing in on this biotech stock profit opportunity, here's what you need to know.
Importance of ASCO
Created in 1964, ASCO is a not-for-profit organization started by a group of physicians from the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR). They saw a need for a professional oncology society and set out with a mission to "conquer cancer through research, education, prevention and delivery of high quality patient care."
Today, the Arlington, VA-based global organization has almost 30,000 members with 25% coming from over 100 countries. The diverse group includes clinical oncologists from all oncology specialties, sub-specialists and oncology healthcare professionals such as nurses and health care practitioners.
At ASCO's annual four-day meeting, usually held in early June, tens of thousands of attendees share ideas and learn about cancer breakthroughs from therapies and diagnostics. It also includes presentations from more than 4,000 scientific abstracts.
The organization has attracted top clinicians and investigators to administer patient care and conduct research. On its website, the organization boasts that it "will be recognized as the most trusted source of cancer information worldwide."
But it's much more than a source for thorough cancer research. Those in the biotechnology industry keep a keen eye on the ASCO meeting.
That's because of the more than 600 medicines and vaccines developed through biotechnology and clinical trials, a large majority (254) deal with cancer treatments, according to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.
Behind heart disease, cancer is the No.2 cause of U.S. deaths.
The need for cancer treatments is high with an estimated 1.6 million new cancer cases to be diagnosed in 2012 while more than 577,000 Americans will die from it.
From an economic standpoint, cancer is expensive. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that the overall cancer costs of 2007 were $226.8 billion.
So for biotechnology companies focused on cancer drugs, this time of year is one that could bring a doubling or tripling of their stock price until the conclusion of the ASCO meeting.
That gain is what has been known as the ASCO Effect.