With 28% of the float short, I'm sure you are a little anxious about the recent price action. What's more troubling to you, I'm sure, is the nagging issue that the price keeps to creep upward, now at 10.15 and climbing after hours. And as a short you are painfully aware that with such a large short position, the price is getting dangerously close to triggering a short squeeze, which, when it occurs, could easily drive the price past $15 a share. My advice: cover before it's too late. You still have tremendous opportunity to make a lot of money by going long!
Jude, no offense, but NO ONE pumping this stock (or dumping) on this site could possibly affect the stock price!
Sentiment: Strong Buy
sure. There is a great chance that 3422 will work better than Sovaldi. So they wouldn't shutter it, they'd study it. and I think they'll be willing to pay more than that to get ACHN's drugs. Gild knows this company well, and they believed in their science and research enough to keep the formal collaboration for 10 years.
Don't know what aspect of the drug will gain them a patent. You say, "If you read those patents every obvious uridine change has already been claimed," so can you please provide a link to the description of that patent in question? Much appreciated.
Sentiment: Strong Buy
Remember binary, this only gets us through the safety hurdle. While toxicity doesn't appear to be a problem, and so far no interaction issues with 3102, 3422 still has to prove solid efficacy in humans, and also no interaction issues with 2684 and/or Sovaprevir. We still have a ways to go, but what I'm hoping is that a player with 10-100X the market cap and cash flow comes along and decides to buy ACHN right now to get a dozen trials in the works immediately, and ramp these phases up significantly faster than ACHN can do on its own, or even with a partner. Personally I'm keeping my fingers crossed that ACHN does not partner with double digit royalties yadiyadiyada. They need to be bought out and then ramped up fast!
Sentiment: Strong Buy
I've been digging into the patent fight between Merck/Idenix and Gilead, since if Merck prevails it might have implications against Achillion's 3422. And I also wanted to see why Gilead's patent protection on Sovaldi wouldn't be able to trump 3422 as well. So to the first part, Gilead's 10K from last year explains the patent dispute between themselves and Idenix quite well, and also why Gilead thinks it will prevail. You can find it in Gilead's 10k 2013, and scroll down to "Interference Proceedings and Litigation with Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc." in the legal disputes section.
To the second part, since ACHN used sofosbuvir as a "proxy" in its test with 3102, it made me wonder if 3422 was going to be able to get patent protection, as it is also a uridine-analog nucleotide polymerase inhibitor, just like sofosbuvir is, most likely with the same mechanism of action.
The answer, I believe, is this:
From Achillion's science sheet on 3422: "Structural changes to the uridine base and the ribose sugar provide composition of matter and freedom to operate." Uridine is one of the four basic components of ribonucleic acid (RNA); the other three are adenosine, guanosine, and cytidine. Ribose (β-D-ribofuranose) forms part of the backbone of RNA.
Now, if Merck/Idenix patents prevail against uridine-analog nucleotide polymerase inhibitors in general, then 3422 could be in trouble as well (at least I believe, I'm not an attorney). However, everything I've research says that Gilead will prevail in their patent fight. And 3422 has differentiated composition of matter from sofosbuvir.
So, if Achillion's IP on 3422, 3102, 2684, and sovaprevir seem clear, and since Gilead had a 10-year collaboration with Achillion before buying Pharmacett, I think Gilead just might end up the most interested party in acquiring Achillion. It will ensure complete dominance of the space for 10 years.
4 million shares were covered between 5/20 and 7/31. I really wish Yahoo could make database updates a top priority in their site management. Yahoo are you listening?
just fyi the short interest as of 7/31 now stands at 28% of float, down from 35%. I suspect we'll see some bobbing around of the price every day as shorts continue to unwind their positions.
hey Magnam how's it going? I see you got into quite a long tussle with Mr. Gefvert over there on SI! He refuses to back down, and apparently there are still quite a few shorts that feel the same. The good news is that when big positive news comes out on ACHN, the ensuing short squeeze will add a billion more to the valuation, at least temporarily.
I believe the proof of concept data will bed available in the next couple of months. ACHN said they want to start a phase 2 combo trial before the end of the year with 3422 and 3102.
binary, I just realized I wasn't clear in my statements above...In Gilead's phase 2 Electron study, only 68% of G1 treatment naïve, non-cirrhotic subjects treated with Sofosbivir and Ledipasvir PLUS RIBAVARIN achieved SVR12 IN 6 WEEKS (at 8 weeks it was 94%). I mentioned the 6 weeks result because ACHN is now going for a 6 week treatment arm, which is why I'm saying that if they achieve 90%+ at 6 weeks, that blows away Ledipasvir's results, because the NS5A drug change is the only variable - Sovaldi is the constant. Yes the sample size is small too on the 8 week result, but I agree that when you have 100% response (12 out of 12) there is zero variance in the data, which means that even for this small a sample the likelihood of a phase 3 powered for statistical significance to show much less than a 100% result (at 8 weeks treatment duration) is very small, at least for GT1 treatment naïve non-cirrhotic patients. Let's hope that there's also a zero relapse rate at 12 weeks!
For those of you who are short ACHN, who have posted both here and on Seeking alpha that the only valuable piece of the HCV pie is the NS5B polymerase inhibitor (the nuc), and that Achillion's other HepC drugs are worthless, you are very wrong. Gilead proved in multiple phase 2 and 3 trials that adding the NS5A inhibitor piece, and very likely also a NS3/4 protease inhibitor (still to be proven), is the only way to achieve ribavirin-free, 100% response rates with 4 or 6 or 8 weeks treatment duration. Achillion has all three pieces, and they are all second generation pieces as well, which is why Achillion has a shot of ending up on top of the heap here. Remember, eradicating HepC will take 50 years. With 150 million cases and several million new ones every year, it's not like Achillion is "behind". Instead, Achillion is finally coming onto the scene, after 17 years of solid research, with potentially a much better set of ammunition.
We are talking about the phase 3 study ion-3 with GT-1 treatment naïve cases, of sofosbuvir(sovaldi)/ledipasvir. As a comparison I've added the ACH data plus Sovaldi (which is obviously apples to oranges because the ACH-3102 phase 2 was not powered to demonstrate statistical significance), but shows some interesting trends. The Gilead phase 3's were named ion-1, ion-2, and ion-3 if you want to look them all up..
ION-3 PHASE 3 STUDY
GT 1 treatment-naïve patients
SOF/LDV 8 weeks 94.0% (202/215)
SOF/LDV + RBV 8 weeks 93.1% (201/216)
SOF/LDV 12 weeks 95.4% (206/216) -
the numbers above are: Treatment/ Duration/ % response/ # respondents out of total. In one of Gilead's phase 2 trials, an additional patient relapsed after 8 weeks post treatment, and we don't have that data on ACH-3012. We only have 4 weeks after treatment data so far. But as you can see above that the SOV/LDV treatment without Ribavarin achieved 94% SVR12.
SOF/ACH-3102 achieved 100% (12/12) at SVR4. Certainly a nice trend, and that's all it is at this point. But to me, as an investor, the important news is that Achillion is continuing to prove non-inferiority of their drugs, and in particular that their NS5A drug has a shot at being best in class. If the next 12 patients in their phase 2 arm that will be treated for 6 weeks duration shows a similar response, or even a 90% + response, it will be truly remarkable. In Gilead's phase 2 Electron study, only 68% of G1 treatment naïve, noncirrhotic subjects treated with Sofosbivir and Ledipasvir PLUS RIBAVARIN achieved SVR12 (meaning sustained virologic response 12 weeks after the conclusion of treatment. SVR4 means the same thing, 4 weeks after treatment.). Achillion's test is without ribavirin.
Sentiment: Strong Buy
oh and the reason being short is a riskier bet is because, as I stated at the top, the company is undervalued just on its NS5A and its NS3/4A Protease Inhibitors, 2384 and Sovaprevir. We should be a t a minimum of $15 a share before we see any news - positive or negative - on nuke 3422,
I can't believe so much of the float is short and they aren't moving. the shorts must be treating the nuke as a binary event - it either works or it doesn't (they still have to prove efficacy after safety), but that seems to be a much riskier bet than being long, IMO.
Gilead may very well decide to buy Achillion. They worked with this company for ten years. They ended the relationship when they bought Pharmacett (to get their nuke), but with this current trial you can bet that eyebrows are being raised at Gilead regarding Achillion's second generation products. Gilead is only familiar with Achillion's first generation efforts, which don't compare. don't forget, Achillion is no Johnny come lately or pop-up pharmaceutical. They've been research Hep c and the possible drug mechanisms of action to stop the virus since 1998. That's seventeen years, folks.
I agree with everyone who thinks this is eventually going over $20, and may go over $30. This small but important trial on ACH-3102 proved two things to my eye: #1) that ACH-3102, an NS5A inhibitor, has no drug interaction issues with a nucleotide analog NS5B polymerase inhibitor (Gilead's Sovaldi and hopefully ACH-3422), and #2) That ACH-3102 works at least as well and possibly better than Gilead's own NS5A inhibitor, ledipasvir. This trial did in 8 weeks what Gilead's sofosbuvir/ ledipasvir combo did in 12: 100% cure rate of GT1. That bodes well for the cocktail that Achillion is trying to develop for 3102, 3422, a second generation NS3/4A Protease Inhibitor ACH-2684, or Sovaprevir (also an NS3/4A PI). While we don't know what Gilead's sofosbuvir/ ledipasvir combo can do in 8 weeks (I think they only tested 12 weeks), this study gives a much clearer roadmap to how Achillion is going to get the time to 100% cure down to 4-6 weeks, which to me is the holy grail in gaining serious traction across the globe. Achillion's second generation drugs have the potential to leapfrog several of the competing drugs, and now we all wait for some efficacy/safety data on the elephant in the room, the big nuke 3422. If 3422 stands up to the CEO's very confident public comment that it is at least as potent as solvadi on GT1, and up to seven fold more potent than sovaldi on GT3 (about 20-25% of all HepC cases), then Achillion could easily be taken out not for 2 or 3 billion, but $5-6 billion (I would have said 10-15 billion if this were Pharmacett in 2011-2012, but I think it's clear that Gilead will maintain dominance in this market for quite some time). What I also think will become clear to the market very quickly, is that 2684, 3102, and sovaprevir are worth $1.5-$2 billion TODAY, WITHOUT 3422 IN THE PICTURE. and the best news of all: 35% of the float is short!!!!
Sentiment: Strong Buy