Feb. 9, 2010
Biogen Conference Call With Investors
It's about an hour long, so I'll give you a few highlights.
One reason stock went up so drastically is because Biogen had to buy back it's own stock! (After news of PML) They have 100,000,000-I believe in the conference call they said they had one hundred million set aside at any given time to invest inwardly or outwardly. I might be wrong, but this is what stuck in my head.
*Four new employees were announced. One from BNAC (just before CCSVI study results were announced), one from NMSS and his wife just days after that.
*The call referred several times to how benefits outweigh the risks of PML, and how they intend to use this as a marketing strategy.
-However, more and more cases are showing up, in rapid succession. This is because the risk increases the longer you take Tysabri! Those that are developing PML are mostly those that have been on it 2-3 years. Biogen admits, they really don't know the risks after this, it really hasn't been studied!
*At the end of the call, there is a question and answer session in which a caller asks three questions. It starts on minute 40, if you want to skip forward, you don't have to hear the whole call. His questions were concerning the PML trials that were going to take place. Funny how they are allowed to keep their deadly drug on the market while conducting safety trials of it.
*The questions were about what the study would measure and how. Right away, the guy answering started stuttering. He stumbled and stuttered the entire time, not making complete sentences and not answering one of the guys questions. The guy wanted to know if they were just going to test everyone in the beginning, and then see who developed PML, or what.
*So, what I could make out is, they do blood tests, and save it, wait for people to develop PML and then compare the stored blood with a fresh urine sample. It was really hard to understand.
Here's the really rough unedited transcript I just tried to type as I listened:
What is the design of the study for potential drop outs who turn out to have a high risk factor?
Well, I mean, uh, uh, as you point out, the denominator may change-in terms of these two strata-But if the the uh uh if the risk decreases in a num… then we should see iiiiif if if Most of the people are in a low risk category the overall risk of PML should go down. And a number of cases should go away. Or dis, or or diminish so if that’s the case then we will have answered the question. I think the denominator will need to be adjusted uuumm according to the number of people that stay in the in the strata that uh, that we’re studying.
And what is the design of the study? And what will you specifically be measuring?
E uh uh if we’re talking about the uh seriological accates it is basically simply a blood draw. Where we take the blood, store it, and we we actually have a couple of studies and one study we will verify that the findings we got from our strata samples is is the same. Uh, we will match it up urine JC virus in the other study we will collect blood and see whether or not when patients develop PML they were antibody positive, at that prior timepoint, or not.
Is it just the antibody or what are the JC virus specific T-Cell function assays or the viral protein assays that you will also monitoring and do you normally check those if the patients are positive or do you test everyone and then see who gets PML?
Thu Thu those those will be separate studies done uh in a focused way uh in conjunction with some registries and other studies going on in Europe and elsewhere where we will look for additional uhhh biomarkers. Uh, they will include cellular assates such as you indicate uh, that test immune response. Ummm, they’ll they’ll also look for mutation in JC virus Uhh, if we get a technology that we can use to measure mutation Uh, and so forth, but there are some studies that are uh, uh,, that are going to be underway uh, for example in Germany, and we we intend to collaborate with the investigators who are doing those studies.
I couldn't help but laugh, but this is really far from funny.