When Novik said we might get phase II interim news in the beginning of 2nd quarter it is the same as telling the shorts that there will be no major news until at least april so shorting is relatively risk free until then, I would have rather he said news could come at any time between now and when the trial ends, he could have justified it with the same reason.
As for the reason he gave (randomization), he is making it sound like this trial is blinded, but from what I understand they know (or can know) exactly where each patient is in the process, whats his dosage, etc..
Which leads me to believe Novik knows that at least one cohort will be finished by the end of march - beginning of April unless a patient (or more than one) decides to stop treatment, so that means the chances we do get news in April are probably pretty good.
That was an interesting concept until a few weeks ago. My guess is now with the recent surge in covering, the short outstanding is relatively low and will be meaningless come announcement time. More importantly with the drastic drop in price, I will be very surprised if we see double digits anytime soon. I hope we do but that is a long way to go from here, Phase II or not.
xf_jammer you seem to be new here so welcome.
As for Novik, I really want to give him more credit, but:
1) his (And prolor's) inexperience is evident during the phase II trial. Right now it is taking about twice as long as they said it would when they started. (it was supposed to end in the first quarter).
2) I get the feeling he is not being completely honest with us. For example, he makes it sound like Merck might get approval for Elonva in the US soon, when in fact, they are now conducting a phase 3 in the us which would not end before october 2012, meaning they will not get approval before the end of 2013, almost 3 years from now.
In the meantime, according to the last presentation, it would seem we should get some preclinical obesity efficacy this month, but it won't effect the pps for more than a day. No one cares at this point whether Prolor made a mouse drop 1/16 a pound in the last month.
When we do get news of one of the cohorts, it won't necessarily be a straightforward black or white situation. We know there would be no safety issues, but I'm guessing that not all 4 cohorts would have the efficacy that we want (to high IGF levels, too low, whatever) so even when we do get news 2nd quarter interim news it MIGHT even be looked upon as bad news if the specific cohort's efficacy is not good enough. My conclusion is there is a good chance we will have to be patient until the 3rd quarter to really know whether the trial was successful.
The other thing here is that as I understand it, institutional investors need Phase II results to get in. I am curious whether "interim" results meet that criteria anyway. We may get a short-term blip from the news but if those guys still can't buy, I imagine we won't go too far if anywhere. Ultimately I think you are right about timing so I am trying hard not to get my hopes up that any early announcement will do much. And as far as any preclinical data goes, I think those will simply be met with silence at this point as well. If Phase II is what we need for real buyers then in reality nothing else matters at this juncture. I think the last announcement proved that theory out.