BI stands for Boehringer Ingelheim Co., and BI201335 is its latest NS3/4a protease inhibitor which unlike its predecessor has not, so far, shown the severe(cardiac) toxicity, but generated its own toxicity ... jaundice in 16% of patients treated with the drug for 12 wks. Jaundice can result from many underlying causes, but in this case, since the bilirubin level rises by up to 8 or 9 units (the median change is 1 or 1.5 at their 250 mg dose level), it has to come from the breakdown of hemoglobin which comes from hemolysis of red blood cells. You cannot call this kind of toxicity as a mild side effect. They have to address this toxicity in their Phase iii trials. When I looked up the clinical trials, their latest Phase ii trial using (their first?) oral form of drug started in July of this year and the final data collection date for this trial is given as October of 2011. This means that the completion date for their Phase iii with oral doses cannot happen earlier than 4 years from now if Ph iii has to follow Ph ii. Four or five years from now VRTX will have a TVR/VX-222 combination pill in the BID delivery form which can cure HCV patients with or without IFN/RBV (please listen to the JMP conf call because Ian Smith discussed this combination in detail).
Im only posting to say the recent drop is kinda usual for VRTX. There's at least one poster that seems to be 'predicting' it will go lower (than 33), but it's obvious he just wants cheaper shares (or represent some crazy shorts). IMO, this is good time to average in partially (dollar cost average). Buy some now in low 33's, then if you're lucky try to get 31.5. I seriously doubt you will get it below 30. As always, GLTL, shorts can F**K themselves.
jt and gym, on top of competitor fear there is market fear. Many may think that we are close to a market top. VRTX shares should not be traded like market indices but they do between press releases and analyst upgrades. Many biotech shrs actually underperform the general market btw two upgrades. On the other hand, over a long term VRTX will outperform because the market has not fully priced in the value of 770, 809, and 222. The safety and efficacy results from 809 should be released in a few months, and as Ian Smith said a dose dependence of 222 efficacy will be out before the end of year. As biotech stocks often do, the VRTX share price would jump upward when bullish news are released in the next few months. I bought some shares today and will do again tomorrow. In 15 short months from now the FDA has to approve the drug.
It is interesting to me that quite consistently, the market has reacted very negatively to news about potential competition. Over the last 1.5 yrs, news about efficacy from Boc would send Vrtx sharply down, even when accompanied in the same press release by Boc safety data that in my reading was unfavorable. Here the report of 335, a compound early in development with safety concerns, has coincided with a 20% fall in Vrtx share price. Why? I think because Vrtx is small, there has been a persistent and irrational fear that they will be beaten by big pharma, even if the competitor compounds are inferior. I have used this as a buying opportunity.