Hey Late, it is good to see a scientist invested. I have been long NVIV for over a year and I invested because of business fundamentals. I usually invest in profitable businesses because the risk level is lower. I believe NVIVs share price will have 2 different stages, the science stage and the revenue stage. We are in the science stage now and the price will go very high on positive trial results before a pullback as revenue, and negative profits, begin.
Given that the monkeys used in the trial do not have 99% sililiarity to humans, what do you think are the chances of a positive trial result? And do you think there is any chance of a negative result? Please explain. Thanks!
Hey! Happy to address this when I get a chance, mobile right now and not at a keyboard.
I'll quickly make this point though. The "99%" phrase that you hear a lot doesn't mean exactly what most people think it means. This is really a remnant from the early 2000's when we started picking up steam in carrying out full genome sequencing. As you might know, the genome is usually split into two divisions: coding and non-coding. There was a period where most biologists were extremely confused because of how few genes humans actually turned out to have (about 30,000) and with how much similarity there was between even distant relatives (humans and mice are considered 90+% sequence overlap I think). What we've found in the last decade is that a lot of the "junk DNA" that doesn't code for genes and is in that 1-10% actually has a huge role in the maintainence and expression of the genome (I.e. microRNAs, regulatory elements, etc). Also, epigenetics (differences in the genome not related to sequence, but to modifications at specific sites) is making the story even more complex.
This is probably a bit of a tangent to your original question, but the take away point is that what's more important here is anatomical and physiological similarity in the central nervous system, NOT genome similarity. After all, look how different mice and humans are anatomically, yet they are quite similar from a gene sequence perspective. I understand why Frank makes this statement, but I wish he and others wouldn't because its confusing to the general public.
I'm very long NVIV because I think based on the monkey data the chance of measurable improvement is possible. However lets keep in mind that although the green monkey is a better trial animal than a rat the actual injury model treated in the monkey is not a match for the injury to be treated in the human trial. They removed a hemisphere of a portion of the spinal chord in the monkey, whereas the injury in the human is a bruising/crushing injury causing bleeding within the chord. Treatment with scaffold was immediately at the time of the resection whereas the human trial probably will have a delay of maybe several days before its surgery.
In fact to me the injury to the monkey would seem more severe than that of the human and offer more hope for the human trial.
Hi Lab, what you are saying is true and Frank does over-generalize. However, an important point we should all note is the following: Anatomically, the step from rats to African Green monkeys is a much bigger gulf than going from the AGM's to humans. That should be very encouraging. Also, and Frank is saying this as well, I believe this intervention should work even better with humans than with the monkeys. The human has the understanding and the ambition to utilize the benefits derived from the scaffold implant, so there would be a more concerted effort to work the new locally reorganized neuro pathways and move toward goal-driven success.