Several key things may have led to Dr. Berk being let go. Dr.Manuso stated a while back that Jake was continuing in the Mp-470 trial, however on jake's blog he was taken off the drug several weeks earlier, because he had progressed. Dr. Manuso looked like an idoit and Dr. Berk should have had him updated on that development. The second and most recent event was at SUPG's 1Q update, when asked by an analyst whether Supergen would have anything at ASCO, Dr. Berk stated that there would be nothing at ASCO, well we actually had two posters at asco, I believe Dr. Berk dropped the ball on ASCO and was probably let go and they scrambled to get something presended at ASCO.
We'll probably never know the real story on BERK. I believe the guy had some baggage when he was given the position and management discovered that he was not an asset.
"On the ASCO data you provided on May 25, the ADOPT survival data appears to be 20.3 months vs 24.4 for vidaza. Does this kind of difference mean a huge loss of market share? I would say no. What has kept up the Dacogen sales since last July when the dismal EORTC data was supplied. What would cause doctors to abandon Dacogen at this point?"
The quicker signs that dacogen shows in blood work have kept some Md's using the compound and of course longer cycles. But Dacogen has stalled at 40M and the survival benefit and I'm sure because md's didn't see the same fast results they stayed with Dacogen, but as these studies indicate the benefits are derived by longer exposure to vidaza and that may have some md's that were using dacogen to now look at vidaza first, plus they always can use the stronger dacogen later. The red flag is out there on dacogen sales, it would be nice to hear something from easia, but they did speak up about adopt trial and most likey md's are already using the adopt dosing. It's difficult to play second fiddle and since there are no studies that suggest a biomaker or targetting profile for dacogen, CELG is probably getting the upper hand here. What pisses me off is that s-110 was suppose to already be in trials and Dr. Manuso always finds a way to delay the trials.
Supg should be having there annual meeting in the next few weeks, maybe they will have the decency to layout what eisia will do next. The future is with these other compounds and dacogen just needs to keep us from burning through cash, if we lose 1/2 the current sales, then we will take a major hit, but any bad news and this trades lower.
On the ASCO data you provided on May 25, the ADOPT survival data appears to be 20.3 months vs 24.4 for vidaza. Does this kind of difference mean a huge loss of market share? I would say no. What has kept up the Dacogen sales since last July when the dismal EORTC data was supplied. What would cause doctors to abandon Dacogen at this point?
At one point, someone with a Yahoo ID of Alpha something used to provide monthly sales data. Too bad we do not have that data now!!
Maximus: here is link:
I not saying it's obvious, but something spook eisai to not give a forward looking number. That concerns, specially with a street that sells and then asks questions. I have been looking hard at why eisai stated something about double digit growth and have posted what I found. Adopt trailed in survival(I posted comparisons) and aml news in 2010, so if dacogen sales do fall, the street will not like. I posted messages about vidaza survival trial prior to it's release and that was a big concern of mine prior to it's development.
Now eisai changes it's optimistic picture on Dacogen and that has to be based on something happening currently. The best results with Dacogen happen with AML patients responses, so maybe that's where eisai feels the double digit growth will resume. But that data, not till 2010.
The head to head trial announced by eisai, only problem, not even started. I review the clinic.gov site weekly and no trial as of yet. Now if they do have a trial, how many years to get to the answer? 2-3 maybe?
I'm not positive revenues are weaking, I just suspect that Eisai "no guidance" was not a positive indication and just giving you my opinion on what maybe ahead. Something spooked Eisai and we cannot ignore that vidaza could be grabbing the newest patients and dacogen additional cycles maybe what was holding us up. But you have to gain new patients to keep up our share.
I will say it was a little tough to follow with hearing part of it in Japanese, but you did hear the part where they mentioned "double digit growth" in regards to Dacogen, correct? I may have been hoping it was solid guidance going forward, when maybe it was more of a forced answer by someone just trying to answer a question so they could move on to the next question. I know I never saw in print any guidance attached to any numbers, so again, I can see where questions can easily be raised with regards to this.
With all these other studies going on with Dacogen, why can't we feel some hope for revenue increases going forward? With Eisai saying they want to do a head to head trial againg Vidaza with Dacogen, why wouldn't this point to increases going forward? I just can't see why it is so obvious that Dacogen revenue will be shrinking.
Joe Pantginis - Merriman, Curhan Ford
Hi guys. Good afternoon and thanks for taking the question and congratulation on keeping a very strong cash balance.
Two quick questions if you do not mind. For the MP-470, if I recall correctly, we might be getting an update at ASCO on the study. I was just curious that the nature of the update we will be receiving and secondly, obviously, you have discussed your business strategy of not taking products through Phase II. So, I just want to get a sense of how advanced some of your partnering talks are for some of your pipeline candidates. Thanks a lot.
Okay. Greg, would you like to comment on 470 and ASCO?
Yes. Joe, we are not going to have anything at ASCO and 470. We actually are presenting this coming weekend at the ESMO Lung Cancer Conference an update from the Phase Ib on just the lung cancer patients and the Ib, the non-small cell and small cell. That will be actually presented in a poster this weekend and ESMO’s Lung Conference and we will make that presentation available Monday morning on our website and we will surely send you that as well.
So, we will not have anything at ASCO but like I said this weekend at ESMO Lung. I think the second part of the question was directed towards you, Jim.
The annual shareholder meeting is June 11th, 2009 at 2:00pm PDT.
>>The not taking any compound without a partner into ph3, is a necessity for SUPG to not burn through the 90M.<<
That is more consistent with the ceo’s spend nothing but do nothing strategic plan. Suspending all compound development at phase 2 provides nothing for potential partners to be interested in. Taking the most advanced and most promising compound into phase three could induce a partnership or sale of the company as positive trial results become available. It also improves Supergen’s negotiating position. Any potential partner with serious interest in the phase 3 compound or the entire company may be motivated to present an offer before too much good news is public.
The one glimmer of hope is that Supergen is maintaining neutral cash burn until they are absolutely sure they have a phase three winner and then they will abruptly change their strategy and enter that into a phase 3 clinical trial.
As Mero points out Eisai withholding positive news about Dacogen is consistent with a strategy to buy Supergen and trying to obtain the company for substantially less than it’s worth.
As I’m sure is quit evident I became extremely negative on the ceo last July. In his defense it is possible that Dr. Berk misled the ceo regarding the EORTC trial results causing him and many others to expect that the trial results would be good enough.
You may be onto something but I'm inclined to believe that Dr. Berk became a disgruntled employee because of the way the company was being run. He was probably very distressed by the decision to not take any compounds past phase 2 and to try to partner them at such a disadvantage. If there is anyone that understands the tremendous potential of some of the Supergen compounds it is Dr. Berk.
I suspect that Dr. Berk was betrayed by the trash at the top and wanted to leave. He was tired of the underachieving.
If that was the case, management would have given the usual high praise and wished him the best. Dr. Berk was paid very well for that position and was not part of any team that put these compounds together. It sounds like your transposing your feeling into this situation.
The not taking any compound without a partner into ph3, is a necessity for SUPG to not burn through the 90M. Dacogen is in trouble on the sales, once eisia stated no guidance, that's not a good sign. I expect to see SUPG share price fall on uncertainity again. I didn't see any release by eisai on ADOPT trial update and CELG did on vidaza. The survival benefit is starting to catch up on cramping SUPG future revenues. Dr. manuso probably understands this better then any investor.
The tremdous potentials are still 3-6 years away, they need partners and soon or we may tumble lower. The priority has to be getting a drug like s-110 or sgi-1036 into trials and maybe early with a partner. I think Dr. Berk did a very poor job, I wrote Tim Enns early about this choice. The guy screwed up is my opinion and not disgruntled like some investors are. Google Dr. Gregory Berk and you will have a better idea of his character.