I was surprised by the resignation as I thought Adrian was doing good job as CEO.
Here is a line in the press release, which might point to the real reason behind it:
" ... On behalf of the Board of Directors of Myrexis, I would like to thank Adrian Hobden for his tremendous contributions to Myrexis' development and growth and wish him good health and happiness in the future"
You normally wish "good health" and "happiness" to someone who is in some sort of health-related predicament. If true, that would be a sad reason for resignation.
You know what? I hope you are right and I am wrong... future will tell. But IMHO, this company is in a death spiral. And no, I do not work at a clinical trial site.
Back to the original question - reason for Hobden's resignation. He probably tried to drag things out as long as possible, so that he (and his friends) could enjoy a fat paycheck that much longer, knowing very well that eventually nothing would work in the clinic and the company would go under. To make sure the cash would last, he laid off people little by little, first in 2009, then again in 2010, and more recently in 2011. Meanwhile, the clinical candidates are still light-years away from approval, and no partnership was established. I guess by now the board must have realized what he was up to, and they politely asked him to get out. With about 5 to 6 $ in cash, it would not surprise me in the least if the board decided to liquidate whatever is left of this company. Considering it is now trading below 3, the shareholders might see it as a good deal. Ironically, it might even be a buying opportunity - albeit a dangerous one.
Adam Feuerstein made an interesting comment at the end of todays remarks on a possible AMAG buyout:
"In June, MSMB Capital made an unsolicited takeover offer for SeraCare Life Sciences(SRLS_). Following that proposal, Seracare's CEO resigned and the company announced it was putting itself up for sale."
You might also know less than you think.
In the 2 recently-reported phase 2s (I leave out the one with Carboplatin because that combination is no longer being considered; the results would look no worse if it was included), there was 1 fatal cerebral hemorrhage and 1 instance of likely cardiopathy among 47 patients. That is an acceptable rate of severe adverse events in treatment of GBM. Furthermore, there is every reason to believe that the cardiotoxicity is proportional to circulating drug concentration while therapeutic effect is not (because the drug concentrates in CNS). Thus, healthier (more body surface; just-diagnosed vs salvage) patients are likely to be adequately treated with less risk of heart damage than the studies show. Since brain bleeding is related to rapid tumor destruction, it is an expected event while treatment protocols are being developed.
Existing HSP90 inhibitors also have non-target-based toxicity. As reported from Myrexis, levels of the drug candidate adequate to affect tumors have been reached with no obvious toxicity.
From your "I might know..." remark I'm guessing that you may be at a trial site, and you may have seen some depressing things. But GBM casts a very wide pall; the overall results with Azixa are promising. And if, as now appears likely as not, the principal effect of Avastin vs GBM is to combat swelling, a niche is wide open.
no safety concerns...? For starter, I would say the therapeutic window for Azixa is extremely narrow (if there is one at all), and HSP90 inhibitors have well documented target based toxicity.
And I might know more than you think...
You don't see any problem with Azixa and the HSP90 inhibitors? When both of them fail, will you change your mind?
Adrian should have laid off then entire marketing dept when flurizan failed. Instead of that, he let the research scientists go and kept his cronies from non-research depts enjoy fat paychecks and drain the company resources. Now the game is basically over, and Adrian knows it. Time to jump ship before it sinks. The end is near...
For the most part, we are in agreement, the pipeline is progressing at the nominal rate to be expected and I rather doubt there will be a safety issue with Azixa.
Still, the Street has no love for Myrexis and given the company downsizing it looks like a privatization is coming which would be best for the major holders.