Biovest sees new opportunities following bankruptcy

Two years ago, Biovest and parent company Accentia entered into bankruptcy protection after stumbling under the heavy weight of debt just as the credit crisis was hitting with full force. As the money men and lawyers worked on Biovest's financial future, president and general counsel Sam Duffy says management was able to refocus its efforts on becoming an innovative cancer vaccine developer.

"Along with [bankruptcy] came the opportunity, while we were out of the hustle and bustle of being a public company, to really think about fundamental things that were important to the success of the company," Duffy says in a Wall Street Journal interview. "I'm not so sure that you can establish a sea change in philosophy in the heat of the battle, but you certainly can do it in reorganization."

In the years since going bankrupt, Biovest has made tremendous progress with its personalized cancer vaccine BiovaxID for lymphoma. The vaccine uses a patients' own tumor cells, harvested during biopsy, and then re-injected into the patient. The idea is for the immune system to attract diseased cells. Trials indicated the therapy helps subjects with the disease survive progression-free for two additional years. And the vaccine has received orphan drug status for the treatment of mantle cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma in both the U.S. and EU. Biovest plans to submit its data to the FDA at the end of this year in hopes of winning a quick approval for BiovaxID.

- here's the WSJ article

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