A number of promising cancer treatments were presented this week by key global pharmaceutical players at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) – which is why this is a key time of year to watch a specific group of biotech stocks.
The event, which this year took place May 30-June 3, is attended by thousands of renowned oncologists, researchers, analysts, and investors. It is unquestionably the most highly anticipated and most news-generating cancer research meeting of the year.
ASCO can deliver a blockbuster, breakout drug that will not only lead to better cancer treatments, but will also bring in billions of dollars in revenue. Moreover, there's also the potential of a drug's developer becoming a profitable takeover target.
As Money Morning Executive Editor William Patalon III has explained, some stocks start surging in price and volume after the companies present at the event.
Sometimes the post-ASCO pops are short-lived – but huge.
"Each May, just ahead of the crucial gathering, a select group of oncology stocks take investors on a pretty wild ride – almost like clockwork," Patalon said. "That's the 'ASCO Effect.'"
Just look at what ASCO did to OXiGENE Inc. (Nasdaq: OXGN).At the beginning of May 2011, OXGN was a relatively unremarkable biotech stock. It was trading at less than $2 a share.
"You might even say that OXiGENE was deeply troubled," said Patalon. "The company faced questions about management turnover and its cash position. Its investors were worried about its cancer-drug pipeline. In fact, the stock was one of the biotech sector's worst performers in 2010, and the company had to endure the ignominy of a reverse stock split in February 2011."
Then came the "ASCO Effect."
Over a nine-trading-day stretch that started the first day of May, OXiGENE shares soared 218% – on a massive spike in volume. If you include the intraday high, the stock gained as much as 245%.
But it's not just the short pops that come out of ASCO…
Some companies deliver potentially game-changing news about their cancer treatment developments. The updates trigger analyst upgrades and the start of steady share-price gains.
One stock on our list is up about 9% since presenting at ASCO. These stocks will continue to climb in 2014 and beyond as their cancer treatments come further along.
Check out these seven biotech stocks to watch post-ASCO.