[Ed. Note: Dr. KSS writes about medicine and biotech stocks for the Irregulars. He chooses his own topics and his words and opinions are his own. Visit his Gumshoe page to see his articles, biography, and most recent comments].
Lots of you took the exam online (congratulations on how you did), while others took it in private so as to be discreet about scoring. It really doesn’t matter how you review the material, but I hope we succeeded in the goal of teaching. Difficulty? It was difficult. I tried to contrive the test to be one for which the average reader would score around 50 percent, which is what happened. My idea for doing it in that way was to reassure you with ones I’d sure you’d picked up on, and then pose a question you probably couldn’t answer and create a context for answering it correctly. If some of the questions seemed arcane, I’d still encourage you, using the guide below, to master them for becoming a more sophisticated biotech investor, for learning how better to assess companies and the constant surprising “situations” in which they find themselves.
If you didn’t score as well as you wanted to, one way of norming your raw score so that it fits more traditionally with 10-point grading scales is to take your score’s square root and multiply it by 10.
The physicians who took the test naturally did rather well at it. Poster DLH, an engineer, was right up there with them. I think congratulations are due to posters scorpiorising and Jonathan Coulbourn for very rousing scores reflecting serious effort and high-octane grey matter.
Here are the answers, and plenty of discussion to drive home the points I was trying to make. Discussion in the thread after these is very welcome.
(1) For every ____ compounds that are tested pre-clinically, ____ of those make it into clinical testing (i.e., trials on human patients). Of those that enter clinical testing, only ____ survive(s) and makes it to market.
The correct numbers for these blanks are
(a) 25,000, 50, 10
(b) 1000, 5, 1
(c) 5000, 5, 1
(d) 5000, 50, 5
The correct answer is c. Remember two cardinal ratios: that one of every 1000 compounds that gets pre-clinically tested actually makes it into human trials. Pre-clinical testing means that no human tests have been performed. Pre-clinical testing can include ...
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