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  • ArcelorMittal: In The Valley Of Darkness [View article]
    MT gapped up very early this AM prior to the publication time noted for this article. The only news I saw was a PR announcing the apparent giveback of their Algerian assets to that government. Can't imagine anyone would get excited about that bit of news. Anyone know the reason for the excitement today?
    Oct 7, 2015. 08:10 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A Deeper Look At Icahn's Vivus Play [View article]
    A straightforward analysis. Why anyone would take issue with it says more about the commenter than the author.

    The only thing to add is that Icahn's interest in the bond is not necessarily good for the stock. When these come due, unless VVUS can come up with the cash he is going to be in the driver's seat. Think dilution. A lot of dilution.
    Sep 11, 2015. 11:11 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Vital Therapies' ELAD VTI-208 Study - Chronicle Of A Failure Foretold [View article]
    Don't forget to include all the liabilities. At current burn rate ~$2.1/share net as of end of current quarter.
    Aug 24, 2015. 04:03 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Vital Therapies' ELAD VTI-208 Study - Chronicle Of A Failure Foretold [View article]
    OK so the current P3 is very narrowly targeted to acute-on-chronic / sAAH alcoholics only, but no cirrhosis, and no hep-b or c. The question of market size arises for such a restricted group.

    It looks like the actual market size for liver dialysis in general is a lot smaller than people are thinking. Per Frost & Sullivan:
    On page 10 they show the total current market is ~$23 million, projected to grow to $32 million in 5 years: "In 2012, a total of 1,024 patients received liver dialysis in these regions; the number is growing at about 105 per year. The total number of liver dialysis machines was 97 this is growing at about 6 to 7 per year."
    Aug 19, 2015. 04:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Vital Therapies Targeting Billion Dollar Artificial Liver Support Market [View article]
    VTL's ELAD device is only usable for 5 days. It is for acute liver failure patients, in immediate danger of death, in the hospital ICU. It is being tested right now for severe acute liver failure due to alcoholism, only. It is not applicable to the general population of people awaiting transplant.

    The current size of the liver dialysis market is set forth in this Frost & Sullivan report:
    As shown on page 10, the market size this year is about $23 million, estimated to grow to about $32 million in 5 years.
    Aug 19, 2015. 04:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Vital Therapies' ELAD VTI-208 Study - Chronicle Of A Failure Foretold [View article]
    Can you point to any actual evidence the Chinese patients were different than the US patients? That they actually had acute liver failure and the US patients were chronic?

    The evidence does not support your contention that acute hep-b induced liver failure is particularly reversible:
    "The transplantation-free (spontaneous) survival rate ... for hepatitis B patients (19%, p = 0.007), whereas the liver transplantation [survival] rate was higher in hepatitis B patients (62%) "

    Still unexplained is why the non-AAH group in -206 did /worse/ than the controls.
    Aug 19, 2015. 11:20 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Vital Therapies' ELAD VTI-208 Study - Chronicle Of A Failure Foretold [View article]
    So for the -206 study, ELAD was good only for problems solely due to alcohol. Anything else the patient was likely to do worse. But for the China study ELAD was good for Hep-b. Seems to me if we accept the China study we have to accept the -206 treatment population in its entirety.
    Aug 18, 2015. 04:54 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Vital Therapies' ELAD VTI-208 Study - Chronicle Of A Failure Foretold [View article]
    True that the MELD scores in the treatment arm of the China study did improve, but the control arm improved even more. So the baseline difference of 2.6 narrowed to 1.8, in favor of the control group, 6 days after treatment.

    OK, I see now that VTL says the subgroups in VTI-206 were pre-specified. What I do not see is how they decided to put 12 Chronic Alcoholic Liver Disease patients in the non-AAH cohort. Can you point me to any document that explains that?

    I took a look at the inclusion/exclusion criteria for the current trial here: I did not see anything that would obviously exclude the kind of patients they put in the non-AAH cohort, but I did not know what to look for.

    Your comments appreciated. The point of this is not to win an argument, but to assess their chances of success. For that purpose it is of great benefit to dialog with those of an opposing view.
    Aug 18, 2015. 12:06 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Vital Therapies' ELAD VTI-208 Study - Chronicle Of A Failure Foretold [View article]
    Re their China study:
    The treatment arm had MELD score of 28.4 vs. 31 for control arm. Survival rates fall quite steeply as MELD increases. Based on this the treatment arm patients could be expected to have a 7% better survival rate. But look at what happens to the MELD score after treatment: ELAD patients worsened to 29.1 and control patients improved to 30.1. Granted the treatment patients' long term survival ended up much better than the control arm, but is there any rationale why the ELAD would cause this?

    These were 2/3 hep-B patients. So now VTL does a P2, VTI-206, in the US. They say the alcoholics did better but the others did not. So no Hep B patients in the P3. Along comes Martin Shkreli who constructs the Kaplan Meier curves for the entire P2 treatment arm, including the alleged non-AAH cohort, and lo and behold they are the same as the control. And it turns out that 12 of the non-AAH cohort are in fact labeled by VTI as chronic alcoholic liver disease. So it looks like VTL cherry-picked the best responders to make a failed trial look good.

    So now we are awaiting P3 results in a group of patients that seemingly were not helped at all in the prior study.

    OFP, What say you to all this?
    Aug 17, 2015. 10:32 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Gentex: Growth, Value And Positive Seasonality [View article]
    Like the company. Your idea on seasonality is interesting but from 1983-2002 seasonality appeared to work the opposite way. True, your data set is more recent. Would be nice to identify a cause for this to be able to believe is not random.
    Aug 12, 2015. 03:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Gentex: Primed To Race To Higher Levels [View article]
    Agree. According to my research GNTX has done very well during periods of fallen crude prices, during periods when there was not also a recession. Waiting for the stock to finish doing work on the downside which is now in progress.
    Aug 12, 2015. 03:35 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Calling All Aeterna Zentaris Stockholders: Retail Activist Campaign Begins [View article]
    Yahoo yahoos can say whatever they want. The likely reason that shares are getting sold is the company has essentially an ATM for what amounts to around 300 million shares at the current price (.17).:
    "Series B Warrants may be exercised on an alternate cashless basis. If, on any calendar day occurring on or after May 26, 2015, the Company's per-share volume weighted average price ("VWAP") on the NASDAQ fails to be greater than $0.74 for the ten consecutive trading day period ended on the trading day immediately preceding such calendar day, then the holders of a Series B Warrant may exercise the Series B Warrant in an Alternative Cashless Exercise, which would permit such Series B Warrant holder to obtain a number of common shares equal to 200% of (i) the total number of common shares with respect to which the Series B Warrant is then being exercised multiplied by (ii) 0.81 divided by (iii) 85% of the quotient of (A) the sum of the VWAP of the common share for each of the five lowest trading days during the fifteen trading day period ending on and including the trading day immediately prior to the applicable Exercise Date, divided by (B) five, less (iv) the total number of common shares with respect to which the Series B Warrant is then being exercised."

    There are about 30 million B warrants outstanding and applying this formula using the current price multiplies the shares they can get by 11. Anytime they can sell for more than the exercise price they win. The exercise price is the average of the 5 lowest days' VWAP out of the last 15. I believe cashless means they get to remit the exercise price to the company later. Otherwise, they would get a huge windfall for free.
    Aug 11, 2015. 12:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Moral Obligation [View article]
    "Moral obligation" just another way of saying "non-recourse"
    Aug 2, 2015. 08:07 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • I'm Not Backing Away From Ellington Residential Mortgage REIT [View article]
    Thanks, Christopher. 2nd quarter earnings coming up next week. Ripe for a bounce if not too bad. Bought some at 14.
    Jul 31, 2015. 12:42 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Knoll: Upside Already Reflected In Share Prices [View article]
    Thanks for posting your analysis.
    Of all the names mentioned, only KNL has returned is sales to pre-2009 levels, so there is some justification for a higher relative valuation. Whether they are able to build further remains to be seen.
    Jul 30, 2015. 12:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment