I hope vical succeed but I am scared as a shareholder!
Here is an example of some other company trial. I quote:
ONTY/Stimuvax -- any apples here?
The ONTY/Stimuvax story as I remember it:
Phase 2 looked good and MRK.de took it into large phase 3 trials spending $100s million. They would not do that if they were not very confident in success, right?
Very knowledgeable posters on the message boards (yahoo mostly) reversed engineered enrollment curves so that overall survival could be compared to known past standard of care treatments. Very convincing work -- critiqued and modified many times until we had it all just right.
Every past study was sliced and diced so that we could all be sure that what we were seeing in the over-all population was exceptional, thus it could only be the Stimuvax causing the trial to go way past what was expected.
The study design, very professionally done btw by an experienced MRK.de team, had triggers based on number of deaths. The trials went on-and-on with no trigger so we knew overall survival was spectacular for this trial. Unprecedented really, and even after the numbers were sliced and diced using the most conservative of models the Stimuvax arm had to be doing many months better than standard of care. Success is a lock.
Interim looks went by without a hitch, some concern why the trials did not stop for efficacy there, but we are pretty sure MRK.de designed it so that it would have to have overwhelming numbers for a stop. Anyway, it was not stopped for futility so we know something must be right!
One poster on the board was a scientist on the team that originally developed Stimuvax so we benefited from his vast knowledge about all things Stimuvax including method of action, what to expect about 'curve separation' etc. Hell, practically inside information.
One poster was a 5% holder of the stock which we could all verify by SEC documents. Great track record, had researched it carefully before investing, so how could we go wrong following his lead.
Other posters, it seems, dedicated most of their waking hours checking every last nuance and assumption and declared we have a winner here.
We knew through medical message boards and friends-of-friends about people in the trial who have now lived over 5 years! Unheard of in this indication. Must be Stimuvax.
During these phase 3 trials MRK.de started several other trials with Stimuvax in other indications. They would never do this unless they knew it was working right?
Oh, and we had evil doubters like a hedge#$%$ dude named Feuerstein and message board posters who only had negative things to say -- obviously just shorts trying to scare us out of our shares. Nothing like enemies to get a group circling the wagons which was followed by a long circle jerk inside a bubble of our own making while we waited on results.
be cautious not afraid. follow the five percent rule when investing in speculative stocks and don't invest retirement money in these cause there is a good chance at failure. but if it's a homerun you can score big