NovoCure Limited (NASDAQ:NVCR) Q2 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Jul 30, 2020 • 08:00 am ET
[Operator Instructions] Our first question comes from the line of Greg Gilbert with SunTrust. Your line is open.
Have a couple, Bill, it's good to see tangible progress on the higher intensity approach, starting that mean that you've solved the material science challenges that we've discussed in the past that were kind of limiting before? And my second question is on the Merck collaboration, which is good to see, could you provide a little background on how that dialogue has progressed over time with your key piece of data or a development that pushed you in them off the fence in terms of starting? And lastly, can you provide any more color about that study in terms of the types of patients that would and would not be part of it, whether that's cut point for PDL1 positivity, screen or non screens or any other color you're willing to provide? Thank you.
William F. Doyle
Sure. So good morning, thanks as always for your interests. I just want to state before we get started that we are completely dispersed around the world. So I am going to be a little directive, when I ask people to suggesting in an answer, but let me start with the high intensity. As I mentioned, during the prepared remarks, it gets absolutely clear based on our preclinical research and on all of our analyses of our clinical work to date. And when I say that recall, when we treat a patient, we know exactly where the arrays are being placed based on the array placement software.
And we have high resolution MRIs for all the patients. So, we know if you will the configurations of the tissues in their brain and the locations of their tumors. So we're able to make very specific electrical field maps on a patient-by-patient basis and what was seen and what was published in the Red Journal after a very pain-staking analysis was what makes sense. But, what was proven is that, tumors that receive a higher intensity of Tumor Treating Fields have a much better overall survival then tumors that have a lower dose. So, what does that mean practically, and why haven't we turned up the Fields intensity before?
The reason is that, with our commercial system, which is the first arrays that we developed now, well over a decade ago as we turn up the intensity we generate heat under the ceramic discs on the scout and we have to limit the intensity, as the temperature goes up. There are a number and our teams are working on a number of engineering solutions for this. The first was to just increase the number of those discs, and that's what we described.
So, if you will, this is less of a material science solution, more of an engineering solution to spread that intensity out among 14 guests discs rather than among nine. And this allows us, this was the fastest path to allow us to enter the clinic with the system.