Remember Porges was completely wrong on the definition of relative %FEV1(he circulated in mid-2012). He is wrong again about the potential of 809. He thinks that there are risks associated with its trials, and 661 will have a better chance. I would give 95% probability for the success of TRAFFIC and TRANSPORT, phase III trials, 809 is as good as 661 and it may be better for a long-term dosing. I base my reasoning on the safety of the drug over 56 days of dosing and the kinetics of FEV1 change over 4 weeks of dosing along with Kalydeco. When the share price reaches 150 next spring, he will upgrade the stock. Most biotech analysts are like him. Tech analysts are much more informed.
I completely agree. The timing of this downgrade makes no sense relative to the information released and his supporting thesis. The 135 data is a little underwhelming, but there is no way anyone can draw a definitive conclusion that it has no value.
There was another misunderstanding about VX-135. If you recall the 7-day viral kinetics data in patients(Phase I), the 135+Riba effect was less than that of 135 monotherapy. In vitro study also showed that viral reduction was less with 135+Riba than 135 alone. What does this mean? The action of Riba on viral polymerase must be interfering with the action of 135. That is why Bob Kauffman said in the last cc that the trials were run to find the safety. From what the team said about the New Zealand study (135+Daclatasvir) I can be optimistic about the chance of success for this combination. Porges was pessimistic about the chance also. Bob is a soft-spoken person and never exaggerates future potential. He said that 135 is as good as Sofosbuvir in viral kinetics.
Porges also fogot about the important clinical data and FDA approval coming in several weeks. The data from R117H mutation trial will be coming very soon and approval of gating mutation other-than-G551D should be granted very soon. These two classes of mutations alone double the number of people who benefit from Kalydeco. These events are coming very soon, not in 2015 or 2016 !