This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

EASL Backs Down, Will Publicly Disclose Key Hep C Data

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- The European Association for the Study of the Liver, better known as EASL, has backed down and will no longer unfairly and selectively disclose potentially stock-moving hepatitis C clinical data ahead of its important and closely followed conference next month.

In a total reverse of its previous policy, EASL said Thursday that research abstracts for its International Liver Congress, taking place April 18-22 in Barcelona, would be made publicly available online on April 4. Clinical data in the abstracts will not be under embargo, meaning journalists will be allowed to report on them.

"EASL is making these changes in light of recent criticism of its proposed policy, which suggests 'selective distribution' of officially accepted clinical data in advance of the Congress would make our proposed embargo policy untenable," EASL said in a statement issued Thursday.

The EASL meeting is where Gilead Sciences (GILD - Get Report), Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY - Get Report), Abbott (ABT - Get Report), Idenix Pharmaceuticals (IDIX), Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX - Get Report) and Merck (MRK - Get Report) are among the companies expected to present new clinical data on experimental hepatitis C therapies. Therefore, the meeting is as vitally important to hepatitis C doctors and patients as it is to investors.

Yet under its old policy, EASL wanted to provide an advance look at potentially market-moving hepatitis C drug data to the medical society's members or registered attendees of the EASL meeting -- a group which includes hedge fund/mutual fund portfolio managers and sell-side analysts, all of whom can pay for early access.

EASL had planned to selectively distribute hepatitis C drug research abstracts to these folks today. The same documents were not going to be made available to the public, which meant that a select group of investors would have had access to potentially stock-moving clinical data while a majority of investors were to be kept in the dark.

In columns published Tuesday and Wednesday, I criticized EASL's abstract distribution policy as being misguided, unfair and quite frankly unworkable. Smarter medical and scientific groups like the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) realized years ago that trying to compartmentalize research abstracts was futile. Information cannot be selectivity disclosed and expected not to leak, especially information that will weigh on the market valuations of biotech and drug firms involved in new hepatitis C drug research.

EASL, to its credit, has now admitted the unfairness of its policy and took the necessary corrective steps.

In its statement Thursday, EASL said it "accepts that we must address this issue, and we acknowledge the efforts of several individuals to draw this to our attention."

--Written by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.



>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Adam Feuerstein.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/adamfeuerstein.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

Follow TheStreet on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Adam Feuerstein writes regularly for TheStreet. In keeping with company editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in TheStreet. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Feuerstein appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
IDIX $24.50 0.20%
ABT $49.03 0.00%
BMY $68.30 0.00%
GILD $111.71 0.00%
MRK $59.38 0.00%

Markets

DOW 18,232.02 -53.72 -0.29%
S&P 500 2,126.06 -4.76 -0.22%
NASDAQ 5,089.3620 -1.4320 -0.03%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs