Adam Feuerstein of TheStreet.com publishes a lesson for journalists and the public about evaluating claims in pharma/biotech news releases. In “How To Tell When a Drug Company Fibs About Clinical Trial Results,” he writes:
Osiris Therapeutics “disappeared” important data when the company announced results Monday from a mid-stage study of its stem cell therapy Prochymal in heart attack patients.
Naturally, Osiris didn’t come out and tell investors that it was issuing a misleading press release on the Prochymal heart attack study. Instead, the company claimed the study was a success. That’s not true. Figuring out Osiris’ deception wasn’t that difficult if you know how to parse the language of clinical trial results and look at independent sources of information for the truth.
Ride along with me as I pick apart Osiris’ statements regarding the Prochymal heart attack study. Interpreting clinical trial results with a skeptical eye is a crucial tool for all biotech investors, so apply these skills universally whenever a drug or biotech company tries to convince you that its drug works. Hopefully, you’ll find most companies are telling the truth, but sadly and too often, bullish pronouncements about boffo clinical trial data are just spin jobs ginned up to plaster over problems and bad data.
The rest of his column is a clinic. Read it in its entirety.