This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
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
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Fisking Ray Dirks on Medgenics and Shaming Seeking Alpha

Stocks in this article: MDGN IDIX GILD BMY VRTX

Dirks: In September, Idenix was notified by the FDA that its clinical trials were being scrutinized after its NS5B caused deaths in preclinical trials -- we're talking about rats here. So why did it take five months for the company to finally admit its failure and throw in the towel? In the misguided eyes of Idenix, all is not lost. It will partner with Janssen, a Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) company, to develop another drug for hepatitis C that is related to the faulty NS5Bs. I can only scratch my head in wonder as to how Janssen, basically a marketer of old Johnson & Johnson drugs like Procrit and Remicade, suddenly becomes a cutting-edge force in a brand new compound for an epidemic virus.

What? Idenix' lead nuc IDX184 was well into phase II studies in humans without any significant toxicity or safety issues when FDA placed the drug on clinical hold due to the problems discovered with Bristol's drug. IDX184 did not kill rats.

Idenix entered into a partnership with J&J to develop IDX719, an NS5A inhibitor, which is an entirely different class of Hep C drug.

Dirks: What Medgenics will be offering the medical community is a safe, biologically engineered alternative to treating hepatitis using the highly effective interferon, only not in its over-processed pegylated form that's the cause of so many problems. Israel, which is advanced in promoting innovative therapy, moved quickly to allow Medgenics to not only conduct clinical trials of INFRADURE, but also to do them in the most efficient way possible -- smaller and quicker -- to bring the treatment to market as soon as possible.

Finally, we get to the reason for Dirks' error-strewn column. He's promoting Medgenics! I wrote about the company and its biopump" technology last week.

A phase I study of Infradure being conducted in Israel -- the technology's first experience in humans -- only began January. Medgenics has yet to obtain permission from the FDA to begin human testing of the product in the U.S.

Even if you assume generously that Medgenics' technology has merit, Infradure will be obsolete next year when interferon in any form is eliminated from the standard of care for hepatitis C. Nucs and other next-generation direct antivirals -- the drugs Dirks derides and doesn't understand -- won't require interferon to cure hepatitis C.

Dirks implies Medgenics' interferon pumps will cure hepatitis C on their own. That's nonsense. Interferon is not an effective cure for hepatitis C without additional drugs on board to assist -- ribavirin or direct-acting antivirals. Medgenics is a developing a hopelessly late, me-too version of interferon, which is why the company struggles for recognition and investor interest.

-- Reported by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.

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.
2 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

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
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

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

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, 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
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

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

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,053.71 +23.50 0.13%
S&P 500 2,088.77 +6.89 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,806.8590 +33.3870 0.70%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs