I like reading Feuerstein, but this was an unusually poor effort by him. The problem with the hit piece he posted this afternoon was that he left out a lot of key points, and mis-represented past data. Quite frankly, Feuerstein's column was a childish response as he couldn't stomach some news contrary to his negative outlook on SNTA.
1) Feuerstein attacked SNTA for releasing data today. Well, the number of patients exhibiting an ORR exceeded the threshold for moving into the second stage of Enchant-1, so it is a material event for shareholders. SNTA could have certainly waited until August 1st quarterly report and subsequent conference call to dicuss the data and update the trial, but what's the difference
2) SNTA added a Ganetespib + Paclitaxel arm to the study in the spring, so the original October deadline isn't accurate now. I will also remind people that SNTA added this arm due to very good results from the 2nd line NSCLC trial involving women. If one looks at the Forrest plots of the Galaxy-1 interim data, you will see that in both the ITT and the 6month populations, women did very well. Given that Estrogen receptors are major clients of HSP90, I suggested that this boded very well for SNTA in the ENCHANT-1 trial of newly diagnosed breast cancer patients, and today's data supported that view.
3) Feuerstein gave us a link to a previous Ganetespib study as a single agent in breast cancer, and acted as if it means today's data is shaky. If he was interested in presenting an informed opinion, he would have noted that the Enchant-1 trial and data is for newly diagnosed patients, whereas the previous trial was with a heavily pre-treated group of patients (no limit on prior lines of hormonal therapy). This is a crucial difference. Even so, in the heavily pre-treated group of HER2+ patients, there was a15% ORR and 46% SD. In addition, the Ganetespib treatment regimen is different in the ENCHANT-1 trial and the trial involving heavily pre-treated patients.