Know these guys well. My guess and it is just a guess is that they would have been pushing for sale rather than partnership, They were early investors rest of board is dominated by guys who are science rather than money guys my guess the science guys would rather see partnership.
Who knows what the hell is happening behind closed doors, but selling the company is the right thing to do for shareholders if a good deal presents itself (even if it's mid 50's). I'm so sick of these managers/scientists acting like it's their interests that matter the most. They should sell now. Doing so would speed up the development of all their compounds if it's going to take them this long to find partners for every molecule. Time is money, especially in biotech. Not only is it better for me, but it's better for patients.