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Keryx: Readers React to Perifosine Prediction

So, Ralph is correct that Ratain and I are predicting perifosine's failure based on the theory that investors and prospective acquirers have already conducted extensive due diligence on the drug and found it lacking. As a result, Keryx's market valuation of $200 million foretells perifosine's failure. Flaws in the perifosine phase II study, outline above, further support that pessimistic outlook.

Holdground77 writes, "Boy, what a ridiculous article. You state that small-cap biotechs fail in clinical trials while large caps are successful, yet you use the same faulty, disingenuous and obfuscated statistics that you are complaining about. How did you pick your set of small caps? And the large caps? What were your criteria for picking the companies you did for making your case? (You also did not name them, by the way.) Did you only pick companies that fit your theory and proved your case? You know, there are ways, if you try hard enough, to find enough data supporting any theory you want to convince anyone is legitimate. But that doesn't necessarily make it true or honest. There are too many holes in your theory Mr. Feuerstein and it just doesn't hold up in reality. Maybe you should concentrate more on good science and less on your narcissistic ramblings."

The "Feuerstein-Ratain rule" is derived from an analysis of 59 phase III clinical trials of cancer drugs conducted over the past 10 years. We actually had no say whatsoever in the selection of cancer drugs used in the analysis. The list was put together by health economist Allan Detsky of Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital and his co-authors as part of their paper published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggesting that doctors entrusted with conducting late-stage cancer drug clinical trials are using advanced knowledge of the results of these pivotal studies to engage in illegal insider trading.

Ratain and I used the same list of 59 cancer drug clinical trials, re-analyzed by market value of the drug sponsors, to debunk Detsky's insider-trading theory. That's how the "Feuerstein-Ratain rule" came about, and we published our conclusions in the JNCI alongside Detsky's paper.

To restate our findings: No positive trials among the 21 micro-cap companies (companies with less than $300 million market capitalization) whereas 21 of 27 studies reported by the larger companies analyzed (greater than $1 billion capitalization) were positive.

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