“Story” stocks. Sometimes, as investors, we ignore the numbers and dive headlong into a brilliant pitch. Unfortunately, many stories are later revealed to be mere fairy tales. Occasionally, however, a company comes along, identifies a market that is huge, and addresses it with technology that is leading edge. In the world of finance, these are called “sexy” stocks. And sexy means big. Your company makes software that helps you run bake sales in Regina? Not sexy. Your company makes a drug that may grab a substantial portion of the $35 billion cholesterol-fighting market, like Resverlogix, the number three company on our list? Sexy. Our July issue is about tomorrow’s leaders, Canadian techs with realistic shots of hitting the big-time.
In early June you submitted questions for Donald McCaffrey, President and CEO of Resverlogix. Resverlogix’s potentially groundbreaking treatment, RVX-208 may be able to reverse the buildup of arterial plaque by spurring the production of HDL, or “good” cholesterol. These would be a entirely new approach in an industry dominated by statins such as Lipitor, which lower production of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol.
Here’s what you wanted to know about Resverlogix
5 Questions with Donald McCaffrey, President and CEO of Resverlogix (TSX:RVX)
1. (from Colleen in Vancouver)
I’m an investor who is somewhat new to biotech. How does RVX-208 raise HDL or “good cholesterol” levels and what is the implication for Resverlogix if the treatment is proven effective?
Briefly, our lead drug, RVX-208, is a oral small molecule drug that works by increasing serum levels of ApoA-l, a key cardioprotective protein that makes up 70 percent of HDL cholesterol. ApoA-l production is a key component for Reverse Cholesterol Transport or RCT which is a transport pathway responsible for the removal of cholesterol from the body. The RVX-208 molecule raises the number of the useful type of HDL molecules, which is how it is different from other HDL therapies. If we continue to see positive data and RVX-208 makes it to the market then it has the potential to address the needs of some of the most ill of all cardiovascular disease patients.
2. (From Frank in Santa Barbara)
Is Resverlogix properly financed until its trials are complete?
Like many biotech companies Resverlogix Corp is always examining its options for future financings. The biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry is the most regulated industry worldwide. Drug development is a long and expensive endeavor. With our existing money plus our options with the SEDA financing we are funded to complete Phase II.
3. (From George in Peachland)
Has the Assure trial started, and if not when do you anticipate it to begin? Also, were you successful in changing the protocol with the FDA?
The ASSURE trial continues in that we still are setting up sites and continue all other aspects of the trial except patient recruitment. As we were a full 5 months ahead of schedule for our ASSERT trial we are now going to look at this data and incorporate any new findings into the ASSURE trial. Once we have reviewed the data and made the appropriate changes to patient recruitment, then we will move forward and a public announcement with be made.
4. (From Andy in Ottawa)
Can you give us a sense of how far along the path RVX-208 is? Are we days, months or years away from potential approval? How many more clinical milestones does Resverlogix have to reach?”
We have currently completed our first Phase 2 clinical trial which assesses the efficacy of RVX-208. We are currently working on our next Phase 2 IVUS (intravascular ultrasound) trial which we are calling ASSURE. In addition we will need to also complete Phase 3 trials as well as a new drug application (NDA) before this product can be reviewed and approved by the federal health authorities and only then will it reach the marketplace. As with all drug candidates that are in clinical trials we are currently years away from an approved drug.
5. (from Tony in Trois-Rivieres)
Where does Resverlogix as a company stand if RVX-208 doesn’t pan out as hoped?
Although we do not anticipate any issues with RVX-208 this is drug development and good companies never have all their eggs in one basket. Resverlogix has a large and sound intellectual property estate on a number of ApoA-l drug molecules of which RVX-208 came from. We do have a research team that is busy developing new molecules which are moving towards back-up compounds to RVX-208. In addition to our back-up compounds Resverlogix has a number of other research programs including Alzheimer’s disease and Inflammation (in particular for Rheumatoid Arthritis).