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ASCO: The Super Bowl Of Science

What’s the biggest event of the year for biotech and big pharma? It’s ASCO. The American Society of Clinical Oncology kicks off its annual meeting Friday night in Chicago. Drug companies ranging from Pfizer (PFE) to Dendreon (DNDN) will present new research – and that research that could indicate whether their drugs are blockbusters or duds.

How closely is Wall Street listening? Two weeks ago, research leaked in advance of the meeting caused shares of ImClone (IMCL) to tumble. The reason: negative news about its flagship cancer medication, Erbitux.

CNBC Pharmaceuticals Reporter Mike Huckman joins the guys for this conversation.

Mike says big data comes out over the week-end and he will be looking for news from Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Novartis (NVS) and Eli Lilly (LLY). All will have major data on cancer drugs, he explains.

Do you have any sense which of those names are likely to release market moving information?

BMY says Huckman. New data on their leukemia drug could allow it to be used in a different setting and they have a breast cancer drug that’s in development which could have positive new data.

Science Super Bowl

Are there smaller names worth watching?

Mikes says Poniard (PARD) is the top pick of some Wall Street analysts because they’re releasing data on a colon and lung cancer drugs in development.

He also says watch GPC Biotech (GPCB), Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (SPPI), and Pharmion Corp (PHRM) because they’re in a 3-way partnership for a developmental drug for prostate cancer.

What’s the way to trade around this?

Pete Najarian says it will be a big dud from a trading perspective.  If you have a stock that’s up a lot going into ASCO, take profit.

Guy Adami likes Biogen (BIIB) which he believes is a takeout candidate.

Mike Huckman adds Dendrion (DNDN) has been quite volatile stock lately, taking investors for a roller-coaster ride.

Pete Najarian reveals that he has a large position in DNDN options. He’s long July and short June expecting very little to happen, at least before the third Friday of the month.

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Trader disclosure: On May 31, 2007, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders: Bolling Owns (T), (ICE), (NMX), Natural Gas, Sugar, Coffee; Najarian Owns (BIDU),(OXPS),(AAPL),(CLF),(DNDN),(MOS); CNBC Is A Service Of NBC Universal And Dow Jones