Worthless? Short attack on FibroGen claims their anemia drug roxa has a lethal Achilles’ heel — and it’s going down
Usually a short attack takes months to play out. For Aaron Wedlund’s latest all-out assault, we’ll likely know pretty much whether he’s right or wrong about a looming biotech stock disaster in 4 days.
That’s the deadline for FibroGen and AstraZeneca — the big US licensee — to get into the details on their pooled safety analysis of roxadustat, an anemia drug that has been a central focus for investors for years now. Positive efficacy data have been rewarded with a $3.5 billion market cap.
Wedlund, who handled Sahm Adrangi’s short thesis biotech analyses at Kerrisdale for a number of years before going off on his own, is betting that roxadustat will be revealed as a clear loser when researchers unveil the hard numbers on the pivotal safety data on major cardio events, or MACE, compared to placebo and EPO.
“Essentially,” he tells me, “if the MACE is higher (on roxa) then this drug is dead.” And up to now he claims the sponsors have only been able to manage concerns about safety by manipulating the results — which regulators won’t approve of.
First, some background.
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