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Twitter Trounces Wall St. With Real-Time Take on Achillion Pharma's Hep C News

NEW HAVEN, Conn. ( TheStreet) -- Hey Wall Street, Twitter is kicking your ass.

Friday night after the close, Achillion Pharmaceuticals (ACHN - Get Report) halted trading in its stock and announced two important updates to its hepatitis C drug development program. Twitter's biotech investor community mobilized instantly to dissect and analyze Achillion's announcement in real time.

Let me emphasize that last part again because it's revolutionary: Twitter provided real-time, accurate and insightful analysis of Achillion's stock-moving news. Where were Wall Street's sell-side analysts in the seconds and minutes after Achillion's news broke? Still warming up their Bloomberg terminals and trying to roust somnolent compliance officers for permission to call or email clients.

Permission? How quaint... and pathetic. Wall Street's research investment model is dying. Meanwhile, Twitter and its facility for fostering institutional quality analysis -- technical and fundamental -- in real time is ascendant.

Follow along to see how biotech investors on Twitter were all over Friday's Achillion hepatitis C drug announcement.

It started on Thursday.

Achillion closed Friday's regular trading session down 15 cents to $7.24. The stock was halted in the after-hours session at 4:14 pm ET.

Next came the speculation and predictions while we waited for Achillion's announcement.

Achillion issued its press release at 4:30 pm ET. The FDA refused to lift a clinical hold on the company's experimental hepatitis C drug sovaprevir. Interim results from a study combining sovaprevir and another Achillion drug, ACH-3012, in treatment-naive genotype 1 hepatitis C patients were also released.

The first reaction to Achillion's announcement hit the Twitter feed within seconds.

I was 1 minute behind! Typing a few extra words cost me precious seconds.

Not all of the initial Twitter reactions were correct, but that's to be expected. Most were.

Two minutes after Achillion's announcement, Twitter's biotech community kicks the analysis into high gear.

At 4: 43 pm ET -- 13 minutes after Achillion's press release -- Twitter is discussing the impact of the news on the rest of the hepatitis C drug market -- Idenix Pharma (IDIX), Vertex Phama (VRTX - Get Report), Merck (MRK), Gilead Sciences (GILD - Get Report), Abbvie (ABBV - Get Report), Enanta Pharma (ENTA).

Achillion reopened for trading at 5 pm ET.

Deutsche Bank analyst Alethia Young sent an email to clients on the Achillion news at 6:03 pm ET. By then, biotech investors on Twitter were already enjoying Friday night beers and cocktails.

-- Reported by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.

Follow Adam Feuerstein on Twitter.
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.

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IDIX $24.50 0.20%
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ACHN $8.09 -1.90%
ABBV $61.50 -0.44%


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