The language in the report was actually very positive. I've lifted a few quotes from the release and provided CAPS for my emphasis.
Epizyme’s EPZ 5676 DOT1L Inhibitor Demonstrates ENCOURAGING Initial Findings in
an Ongoing Phase 1 Dose Escalation Study
"No dose limiting toxicities; maximum tolerated dose (MTD) not reached" means that they have room for increasing dosage in their next tests. No toxicities resulted at this level = very good news.
"Treatment effects, consistent with genetically defined therapeutic mechanism of action, observed in 4 of 8 acute leukemia patients" means that 50% of users experienced therapeutic response. If I have leukemia, I'll try something with a 50% response success.
"Plan to initiate Phase 1 MLL-r only expansion stage in December 2013 starting at an 80 mg/m2/day uninterrupted treatment schedule, continued dose escalation possible" means results were favorable enough to continue next phase of tests with increased dosages and not start/stopping treatment.
“EPZ-5676 is a first-in-class inhibitor of the DOT1L HMT, and we are VERY PLEASED with the
findings to date in the dose escalation stage of the ongoing two-stage Phase 1 study," said Robert J. Gould, Ph.D., chief executive officer, Epizyme. “The safety, pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, and treatment
effects observed in this study ARE CONSISTENT with our pre-clinical data. Based on these results, we
plan to initiate the MLL-r only Phase 1 expansion stage in December 2013 and pediatric MLL-r and MLL-
PTD studies in early 2014.”
These are samplings of the positive release -- not sure what people expected but this is truly a great update on results IMO.
I have a theory...
Companies try to come out with good news just before the lockup period ends. This is standard practice - I've heard a VC say it directly.
Why did EPZM even give this update? Because they feel obligated to say something positive just before lockup period ends.
The fact that the news is not particularly positive (or negative) right before a bunch more shares hit the market is not a great sign for the stock at least in the short term and hence the fall.
I like the company a lot and will look for an entry point post-lockup.
I also had same observation reading the report. But didn't post as I don't know much about this field.
I think 50% response that caused the panic. Maybe they "expected" more. But in the end, if 50% get treated , that is a lot better than nothing. Plus , they will try to increase dose to see if it has better response rate.