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Jim Letourneau's Blog

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

David vs. Goliath

This post is part of 11 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 during March 28-April 5, 2011.

Part 11

NW: It's like David versus Goliath. We were trying to fight against things that we didn't have

control over.

DM: We have time and science.

NW: Yeah, I know.

DM: The science proves itself one way or the other. The CETP program’s like this one, they
can't do anything with it. They refuse to target plaque regression as an end point. Good
luck. There is one CETP program that's doing a plaque regression program just to be fair,
and that's Dalcetrapib, which is Roche's CEPT program, and that's a Phase III program.
That's a four year study. They're putting their patients on a drug for two years to see if
they can see any plaque regression. And the study's already behind. It started in January.
There's 102 sites. Fourteen of them have been initiated. Four of them have terminated
already. Something's gone wrong. And 84 of them have not even initiated the site, are not
even recruiting yet. So they've been working on that for a year already. And then the patient
has to take drug for two years. So that data won't be out until maybe 2015. Our data may be
out in 2012-13. So for us, if Dalcetrapib works, I'd be surprised. But if it does, at least they
have the initiative to try and show a plaque regression. So far Merck won't.

NW: So that's the only one that is willing to go into the field that we've gone into, which is
showing plaque regression, which is a totally new concept.

DM: They're three years behind us.

NW: They're three years behind us.

DM: So for us, it's all about plaque regression. I could continue to show you all the beautiful
numbers you want to see, just like Merck did. We did show very good numbers, but they're
still just numbers. Unless you can go in with that IVUS and you can show you're removing the
plaque, you don't have anything.

NW: That's the thing that the media forgot about, Don. They only focused on numbers.

DM: Media don't care. They just report.

NW: I know, but they focus on that ApoA-1, and we missed it by .01. The secondary
endpoints, the HDLs, we hit them all.

JL: They were significant.

DM: And who chooses the endpoint? We did. We could have chosen any of the other ones.

NW: We could have chosen them.

DM: If we had chosen a different endpoint, we would have been sitting there smiling. . . but
I think we still would have gotten thumped by the media because of that 138 number. They
don't spend enough time to look at it to understand that that's not the goal. . . you're not
comparing the same thing here.

NW: I know.

DM: So, it was a little awkward, but we can't change the world. All we can do is stick to hard
core science and proving it up.

NW: Keep doing what we're doing.

DM: We're the ones who can show plaque regression. Let's see anybody else do that.

NW: And with the world leaders, like Phil Barter, John Kastelein, Steve Nicholls, Nissen . . .

DM: Ballantyne.

NW: Christie Ballantyne. These are the guys that . . . no one company has all five. We've got
all five, all of them, in our house.

DM: They all work for different companies as well. They all work on different Pharmaceutical
company programs.

NW: Yeah, but not all five are working in one company except RVX.

DM: Not all five of them are all in one.

JL: They're gravitating maybe.

DM: Well, it's pretty fascinating, because they're looking at what we're doing and saying,
"Wow. We didn't think this was possible." But here we are.

DM: But for us, we're sticking to core business, which is science, and proving it up. Financing
for it? Yeah, there will be more financings in the future. We're a biotech company. We have
no revenues. There has to be. But bottom line is this thing's working, and it's working very
well. So as soon as we can show the next set of data, I feel then we can name our deal
with any pharmaceutical company. We can pick and choose at that point in time. So it is
interesting.