I like how NewLink has over 2 million shares sold short with an average daily volume of around 50,000 shares. With a float of 13 million this will be fun to watch in a couple of months. I may be in the minority, but I'm expecting the trial to be unblinded in the first quarter of next year ( 40% improvement in survival).
First it would be great if the trial was stopped at the first interim look. But according to the majority of reports i've read it is a long shot that the first look is a stop , however most feel that the second look is very likely. The reason has to do with the nature of the patient population / many of the patients will die quickly and the first interim look triggered at 220 deaths will include most of them and will weigh down the difference between the treatment arms which will become more pronounced at the second trigger 330 deaths / 30% needed ! But it would be great if you are right , however don't be disappointed if you have to wait a little longer!
I'm not arguing with your conclusion since neither of us know what will happen, but why do you say that the initial patients die quickly and leads to not a significant difference in the two groups? Maybe I'm not completely sure how the trial is setup because I can't find any significant details about it but I would imagine that the difference in the two groups won't change that much as more patients die. When we get more events, it's more likely to be statistically significant but that won't change the survival difference between the two groups, it should roughly stay the same.
All I'm saying is that the median survival for the control group should stay the same (roughly) as more deaths happen, perhaps 16-18 months. Also, the vaccine group should also have roughly the same median survival (24-27 months perhaps). Since the trial was started in May 2010 you may have a majority of the 220 patients that die from the control group assuming they're enrolled with one control then one vaccine patient. There's no way to know median survival at a given point in time so I'm guessing that they're going to look at the number of deaths from the control group vs. the vaccine group out of that 220,so they'll compare numbers and come up with a percentage. So if 91 of the vaccine group die and 129 of the control group die then that would be a 41% improvement and the trial would be unblinded. That's my limited understanding, but I could be wrong.