Vertex is being held back by analysts who have views reported by Adam Feuerstein on TSC this morning, who are concerned about potential future competition from Boceprevir despite it having it's own problems (such as only having a tid dosing option for a 48 week course of treatment with the hard to tolerate SOC, a high incidence of severe anemia requiring expensive EPO to keep patients from dropping out of treatment, and lack of having sufficient potency to treat certain subsets of hep C patients e.g. null responders). It seems that boceprevir being a Merck product, albeit inferior to telaprevir due to the reasons listed above, somehow gives it a preferential competitive advantage in the eyes of the analysts. The hepatologists intending to use protease inhibitors are not going to choose the direct anti-virals based on the manufacturer. They will choose the safest one approved by insurance for coverage that provides comparable probability for obtaining SVR in the largest possible spectrum subsets of patients with hepatitis C in the shortest amount of time. That drug is clearly telaprevir based on the clinical data available to date.
Vertex will need to continue to compare favorably with the rest of it's Phase 3 results coming next quarter, as competitors release their Phase 2 and Phase 3 results, but the bar that Vertex has established today is a very high one, and the competition has not so far demonstrated anything as effective with a six month treatment regimen. If this competitive advantage persists for telaprevir, Vertex shareholders will finally get rewarded after Vertex finishes it's NDA submission and approaches market launch.
One more thing - go back to minute 7:00, wherein Cramer talks about creating a false story about iphone because "the dead fourth estate" wants the story. He phrases it differently. Any writer who just needs to get posted for his meal, is just a dead reported, and is following the snakes and their ilk.
Pink Floyd wrote a song about them called "the worms"
Adam loves to cause controversy to attract readers. He give a sense of suspense by implying that the SVR numbers from TVR and BOC trials can be directly compared. As you pointed out SVRs alone cannot tell the whole story. The safety and convenience of drug dosing are important too. The demographics of patient population is important too. Adam did not mention the large number of hard-to-treat patients in ADVANCE.
The following passage is a direct quote from the press release reported two days ago: " The trial enrolled patients at 114 international clinical trial sites worldwide. Approximately 60% of the patients in ADVANCE were enrolled at trial sites in North America. Additionally, approximately 20% of the patients in ADVANCE were African American, Black, Hispanic or Latino, and approximately 20% had advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis...."
Third, all good points. He also neglects to point out the upgrades and raised price targets for Vertex from analysts since the release of the Advance top line data. Of particular interest, is his focus on writing about "problems" with TVR on the day his boss, Jim Cramer, reportedly recommended a short sale of VRTX on the day the Advance study data was released.