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Jim Letourneau's Blog

Investing, Technology, Travel, Geology, Music, Golf. I think that covers it.

HDL Biology

This post is part of a 16 part series of posts taken from the transcript of an interview I (JL) conducted with Resverlogix (RVX.TO) co-founders Dr. Norman Wong (NW) and Donald McCaffrey (DM).

What follows is a lengthy and candid interview about the history of Resverlogix, recent events at the American Heart Association meetings, and future plans for the company.

I'll be publishing two interview segments a day so not all of the links may be active if you are viewing this near the end of March 28-April 5, 2011.

  1. Background of Dr. Norman Wong

  2. Early History of Resverlogix

  3. HDL Biology

  4. American Heart Association Meeting - 2010

  5. CETP History

  6. Importance of HDL Type

  7. AHA ASSERT Trial Response

  8. ALTs

  9. Investor Reaction

  10. The Next 2 Years

  11. David vs. Goliath

  12. Alzheimer's Therapy Potential

  13. Upcoming Assure Trial

  14. Volatility of Resverlogix

  15. Resverlogix is Expanding

  16. More on the sell-off


Part 3

So the Pharma’s do have smart people, but they don't have the concentrated brain trust that

we have in this one small company. In a Pharma, it's logical to respond in a fashion like…
"We must find drugs that raise HDL 138%. We need to find the biggest number." The HDL
biology does not work that way. It is based on quality, not quantity. So in a lot of respects,
these firms, that worked on earlier programs, were looking for the wrong thing.

First of all, they were looking for the wrong mechanism of action. They may have had
some wonderful compounds but they did these high-throughput screenings, and anything
that doesn't raise the bar tenfold…well that's no good. Well, in our system, that was not the
case. So the others did find some drugs, like CETP inhibitors, which is something that stops
the breakdown of filled HDL. When it gets filled and gets very large, it then goes to the liver
and it dumps. And the plaque that's collected goes through the liver and comes out in fecal
matter as bile salts and such. So the approach was, we need big HDL numbers, so let's see
what happens if we stop the HDL from leaving in the liver. Well, guess what? You do blood
tests, and you have big HDL numbers.