A Twitter post about Benitec directed me to this website ddrnai.blogspot.com.au/ where the company CEO is responding to claims made by a poster on another discussion board.
I do not want to buy in to the arguments per se but the fact that the CEO feels he needs to respond shows how important it is that all shareholders and would be shareholders do their own due diligence before making decisions about their portfolio.
In my opinion, authors equally have an obligation to publish and substantiate claims of fact and make it clear when they are expressing opinion. This is a standard that, as an author myself, I try to uphold. However, I still encourage all readers to follow up on the reference material to which I refer in my articles and judge its merits for themselves, rather than just relying on my interpretation.
Even though long term holders of the stock believe in the potential of the company, we must all remember that it is still a high risk/high reward investment. The technology is yet to be proven to be efficacious in humans and, until it is proven, there will always be claims and counter claims about its benefits and how best to exploit them. Let's face it, if the big pharmas believed Benitec's marketing material they would all be falling over themselves trying to buy the technology. But they are not, which simply proves my point that, until ddRNAi is proven to work, everyone will just have an opinion on it.
The latest news on Calimmune was welcome but not unexpected. The next stage is obviously to establish efficacy. Typically this will rely on the degree of ex vivo transduction of the target cells by the vector. In some good news released this week, other scientists claim to have discovered a way to substantially increase the transduction percentage for gene therapies targeting blood borne disease. If this is correct, then even if the current trial does not show a significant reduction in viral load after treatment with Cal-1, all is not lost as the team may be able to take advantage of this new development.
With regard to TT-034, the first patient is still a week or two away from their safety assessment leading to the second patient being dosed. I would caution against expecting too much by way of news or results from this first patient. A sample of one does not tell us much, one way or the other.
I believe that in the next twelve months we are going to be very pleased with the developments in Benitec. It will be a very busy year, one in which the CEO and all the staff need to focus on clinical trials and advancing the technology with a view to increasing shareholder value. As such, it is a real pity, in my opinion, that the CEO has to be diverted from this task in order to respond to communications which he believes to be inaccurate and of danger to investors. Hopefully, this will be the last time he does so and hopefully he does not feel that he has to take me to task for the same reason.