I think the price was overinflated and is now seeking it's true level or a million other reasons that have to do with the company but not VX950. I don't think you can make a direct correlation to possible FDA approval issues necessarily but the rash didn't do the stock price much good that's for sure.
The issue with some of the participants in the trial developing a rash that is so bad they have had to stop the VX and some had to take steroids is obviously an issue and that might impact the FDA approval, time will tell. This was a confluent rash that looks like rashes they have seen using protease inhibitors in HIV patients in the past. Reports are that 9% of participants developed the rash.
On the other hand, it seems to me the participants in the trial that visit here and have taken it are reporting they are undetectable post treatment, which is fantastic.
kalio is correct. i read last year that the price rose too high even for the profit it would bring. this seams like a correction. it was at $7 2 years ago.
Vertex will be releasing some serious data in about five weeks. Anything until then is speculation based on anecdotal reports, including rates both of viral clearance and side effects. Stocks go up and down for many reasons, and actually often go down on good news, i.e. buy on the rumor, sell on the news. But as long as we're speculating, everything I've been reading here sounds good. Yes, some folks had the rash but don't think anyone dropped out because of it. Personally, I'll take the rash if it can cut down my treatment time from 48 to 24 or even 12 weeks. Rash also apparently goes away shortly after the VX-950 dosing has stopped. Of course, you're talking to someone who had more skin problems than a rash -- rash, psoriasis, seb dermatitis, etc -- for most of my 54 weeks on SOC drugs and I'm not alone here.
In my opinion, the stock price drop is not necessarily reflective of "inside news" that telaprevir is going to end up DOA. Pharm stocks can be very much like dot com stocks in how they can move wildly up and down on just about any rumor, much less actual news. These stocks are "played" like casino bets, not bought and sold like long term investments. Big traders buy and sell them multiple times trying to capture the upswing wave and then quickly selloff at the slightest sign of weakness. Then buy again when they feel the price has bottomed out, and then repeat over and over as much as possible (at least that's how they try to plan it). In many cases these wild undulations have little to do with actual facts, it's just moving with the herd fueled by alternating spurts of greed and fear.
Getting back to telaprevir, based on everything I know and have learned over the last year or so (which is quite a bit), I'd guess that telaprevir will eventually receive FDA approval. There is no question at this point that telaprevir contributes very significantly to the antiviral efficacy of SOC in the majority of those who take it, although there is an aggressive side effect profile in rash, gastro problems and anemia. The VX+SOC dropout rate in the first 12 weeks was triple that of SOC alone (9% vs 3% respectively), and rash occurred about twice as often with telaprevir+SOC (34%) as it did with SOC alone. So there is definitely a downside, and it's not insignificant. But Vertex is working on identifying the mechanism behind this rash and hopefully will come up with tests that can identify those that either have or are developing a vulnerability to the "VX rash" prior to and/or during treatment. If they are successful at doing this, this would allow your doctor to prescreen their patients for telaprevir suitability and also to monitor them during treatment to see if they are developing a sensitivity as treatment progresses (as myself and a few others here experienced later on in treatment). This could reduce the VX rash incidence dramatically by (1) screening out those too sensitive for telaprevir in the first place, and (2) by predicting and "intercepting" the onset of the rash prior to its manifestation (by stopping the telaprevir early). Something like that would likely go a long way at easing the FDA's mind on its current side effect profile.
But even if these rash predictive tests are not developed, I believe that doctors who have been educated in telaprevir side effect profiles can manage the vast majority of their patients by close monitoring. As soon as the characteristic rash is observed and reaches a certain magnitude the telaprevir can be discontinued (while continuing on with the other drugs). There is another factor that might lower the rash rate too, like leaving ribavirin out of the mix by treating only with VX+IFN. I think this "riba-less" strategy can work for some, although I remain skeptical that ribavirin is going away anytime soon for most of us (even with VX thrown in the mix).
Bottomline though, speaking from the perspective of someone who both experienced a great rapid viral response (UND by day 15 and remaining UND at week 31) and a horrible rash from the VX, I think the drug definitely has very positive utility for the vast majority of those that take it with IFN and riba. Telaprevir's not perfect, but barring the possibility that some yet unknown long term side effect(s) are discovered, I think telaprevir is a very important new bullet in the anti-HCV arsenal. If the FDA eventually sees telaprevir the same way, I think the stock price is going to really take-off. I also think the stock price will likely surge when the Vertex findings are released in mid April at the European Liver conference in Barcelona. Lastly, from a long term perspective, it's also possible Vertex could reformulate telaprevir to remove some of its rash inducing qualities. And possibly even enhance its antiviral efficacy simultaneously, although that would require a whole new round of testing and would be years into the future before it might produce profits.
Anyway, that's my blathering speculation, so if you plan on buying up some VRTX stock don't blame me for making a bad call. Don't forget, the operative word here is *speculation*!
Stock prices rarely predict anything. What did the proce of Cisco predict when it went from 20 - 80? What did it predict when it went from 80 back to 20? I think it predicted the emotions of the buyers and not much more.
Unless there is lots of insider information available that we are unaware of, the price of Vertex stock is probably suffering from a lack of information and the market skittishness over the Yen carry trade.
I was thinking of buying VRTX stock puts.
That way if the price drops due to bad news I will be sad but have a silver lining because of making money. And if the stock goes up due to good news I will be happy because the drug works well.
April puts at $25 stock price are going for only $145 each contract.
Hey that's one of the most well thought out strategies I've heard. For once a "can't lose" strategy that actually sounds sensible. ;-)