(Did you miss the Cytondyn lawsuit update detailing Scott Kelly’s shenanigans and the trouble with the NASDAQ listing? Check that out here.)
For a brief press release that was almost entirely free of data, yesterday’s nonsense from everyone’s favorite reverse-merger pink sheet Coronacrapper, Cytodyn (CYDY), has created quite a lot of misleading spin, sheer fabrications, and highly wishful thinking in the scores of message board posts (Hi there, InvestorsHub. Guten Tag meine Lieblinge an Wallstreet-Online.de) and accompanying paid promotional stock pumping videos and puff pieces.
Most of the delusions center around two key misunderstandings.
The first is the rate of occurrence of Serious Adverse Events (SAEs). Management, the stock pimps, and deluded message board posters all want retail to believe (or are trying to fool themselves into believing) that a reduction in AEs/SAEs compared to placebo is a good thing, that it somehow predicts efficacy.
They believe this so much they even twisted the numbers in their press release headline to emphasize this point. This was reiterated in the paid promotional video The NaDDir* appeared in yesterday afternoon to try and rally the retail troops. And it was among the key claims made in ridiculous pump pieces like the one from schlock stock promoting website and email provider Insider Financial.
The Insider Financial piece even made up this handy chart:
Well the Cytodummies are on the right track, just going in the WRONG direction. The longer the patients were on remdesivir the greater the number of AEs. This is a sign that remdesivir actually does something. The more powerful a drug, the more likely side effects are going to occur. This is the first rule of toxicology. As said by Paraclesus, “Sola dosis facit venenum” (Wait, you don’t know who Paraclesus was? You don’t know that “the dose makes the poison”? Perhaps highly speculative biotech investing really isn’t for you).
With so little information in the press release, not even a list of what AEs and SAEs actually were reported, it is hard to draw any conclusions about the difference between the placebo and the leronlimab groups. Which brings us to the second misunderstanding.
We believe the significant reduction in SAEs in the leronlimab group ultimately translates into improved patient clinical outcomes.
Besides the fact that no evidence of improved outcomes was provided, Scott is misusing the term of art, “significant.” In statistics, and clinical trials in particular, the term “significant” has a very specific meaning. Significance in these settings means “statistical significance”, which (basically) is the likelihood that the trial results were not just random chance. This is usually expressed as a p-value. To achieve significance the p-value must be less than or equal to 0.05, the standard for medical research.
Nowhere in the press release will you find a p-value. You won’t find it in The NaDDir’s* paid promotional video. In fact the company claims they needed more time to do the very complicated statistical analysis. Odd then, that you will find this utterly outlandish claim in the Insider Financial puff piece:
Leronlimab’s safety data shows a statistically significant reduction in SAEs? Really? If so then why didn’t the company mention that in the press release?
Simple answer? It is an obfuscation. For such a simple study the p-value for the reported results are easily calculated at home on Excel, or on any of a number of on-line calculators. Contrary to the claims of Cytodyn, such a basic statistical analysis takes less than one minute.
With 5 patients out of 56 in the treatment group experiencing SAEs compared to 6 out of 28 patients in the placebo group experiencing SAEs, a quick two-tailed test yields a p-value of 0.106, which is NOT significant.
There is no statistically significant difference between the number of patients that experience SAEs on placebo or on leronlimab. Of course, that makes sense because leronlimab in this indication appears to be no more than a placebo. As The NaDDir* said in his video at the one minute mark leronlimab is “as good as water”!