On $ZLCS: @DrFungMan @iamvinnyp Finally a good question! Yes: 1) One PhD does not believe in "state-dependency" of the mechanism. Essentially, this person feels as though the drug probably works to reduce pain but will not show enough meaningful differentiation from Lyrica, Cymbalta, gabapentin to make it economically feasible to move forward. 2) One MD thinks the exact opposite. He thinks the drug is too weak to reduce pain, and cites the poor MRK data and lack of side-effects seen in phase 1 as evidence that the drug will not provide enough separation from placebo on pain control (this is clearly a concern). 3) Finally another PhD doesn't think the drug will have enough bioavailability, he also cites past MRK issues, and notes difficulty of conducting these type of p2a neuropathic pain studies before you really understand the dose (this is another concern of mine).
The general conclusion that can be drawn from these 3 conversations is that PHN studied have notoriously high placebo response, so Z160 better be a damn strong drug to separate from the control - and the low side-effect profile just doesn't match up with the powerful efficacy.
All that being said, IF Zalicus has somehow developed a drug that is as powerful as Lyrica, but with a crazy-low side-effect profile, its huge. Enormous. That was the purpose of my SA article. Z160 is a blockbuster IF it does what Zalicus hopes it does. If it fails, the stock goes well below $2.