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  • goodtoreadthis goodtoreadthis Jul 28, 2005 11:57 AM Flag

    Discouraged by Elan

    When I read the 2nd Qtr report at 2:30 AM, I looked at the qtr over qtr numbers, the words "if appropriate" connected to Tysabri, and the abismal (sp?) performance with prialt and said to myself "this is horrible". Plugged into CC at 9:09 so have to go back and hear first part.

    The last time I felt this way about Elan as a business was Sept/Oct 03. To "cure" my attitude, I went to the Oct 03 AGM; and something happened that totally changed my attitude toward Elan. I asked for a tour of Athlone; and the next thing I know I have a robust, hearty Irish guy smiling at me saying "I'm Paul Breen. I understand you want a tour of Athlone." I said yes -not knowing that he ran all of Elan's International Operations, and could easily set it up. The next thing he said was something I will always remember about Elan was " We are gonna knock your socks off !"

    Ten days later and one day later than planned we( my wife and I) rolled into the Athlone plant from -is it Ardo- name escapes me. Since we were an entire day late, I expected that Elan would slap me up side the head and say -Sorry jackass, you're only a day late.

    Instead my wife and I got the most amazing visit to any company ( I supervised $33 Billion in gov't contracts in the 1978-85 period and got kid glove treatment many, many times) I had ever had. Mr Breen had left word that " We are gonna knock this guys socks off, or somesuch." Mr Frank Reddan gave me an infinitely in depth tour ( I have a manufacturing background) of Athlone. My attitude toward Elan totally changed becuase of Mr Breen and Mr Reddan.

    At the time of the tour, Elan's DD was on a banana peel; and about to be sold. Once I had that tour, it was my view that no way DD should be sold. Since then Mr Breen ( and the folks at King of Prussia, Athlone, and Gainsville) have done a fantastic job selling Nano-crystal and drug manufacturing to third parties.

    Prialt sales SUCK. Breen is a born salesman
    (isn't every Irishman). The current head of
    Elan sales is an MD. He's probably a good person; but he's probably way too cerebral for drug sales.

    We lose azactam revenue due to patent expiration this year; and I heard nothing about the replacement of that revenue.

    Myobloc sales were a horror show. Prialt sales are sooo enemic that they make myobloc sales look strong.

    Elan has a history of being lousy in the sales environment. All except Paul Breen and DD which has turned into a REAL profit center.

    The tysabri "story" keeps moving further and further to the right -further and further out.

    This is not a criticism of anyone at Elan; it's an appraisal based on results. We have hundred of millions invested in prialt, just like we had hundreds of millions invested in plants and DD. Breen sold DD products when NO ONE gave it a chance to happen.

    On one side of the Elan sales fence, we have a winner -Breen and team. On the other side of the sales fence, we have prialt and the vanishing revenue from azactam.

    Since some managers from Elan are known to read this board, this is just food for thought. This has been talked about with no one. This is based on my experience with Elan as an investor who was totally turned around on his views of Elan by Paul Breen and Frank Reddan. Mr Breen will probably shoot me.

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    • I too wondered about the "if appropriate" statement by Lars but then as he talked about restarting clinical trials and KM tlaked about the huge unmet medical need, I began to think Lars was just being careful about what he revealed. There is really nothing new here today and the disappointment you feel may just be a lack of concrete Tysabri information. (other than the procedures being put in place for trial re-start) Perhaps your expectations were too high for this CC.(?) We are still in line with what KM told us in March - safety review completed by end of Summer, clinical trials starting first and then re-commercialization of Tysabri, all in 2005.
      With regards to Azactam I believe there is a fair amount of time until a generic version (if there is one) is available. I wonder what the prospect is for re-formulation?
      Difficult on days like this to keep the faith (what's with the 5% haircut anyway) but that is what is required.
      Hope you cheer up, better times ahead.

      • 1 Reply to sling5
      • I guess I'm using prialt as a talisman. Huge investment. Huge intrinsic value to patients.

        Concentrated market in that pain centers are limited in number.

        Approved in Dec. Not shipped until end of Jan.
        What gives ? Lack of sense of urgency ?

        $1 mill first qtr. No big deal -new start. $1.8 mill 2nd qtr. That means qtr over qtr, we had a $266,000 sales increase in each month of qtr. Elan paid hundreds of millions for prialt rights. Elan is paying a sales force for prialt.

        Is there a problem ? What is the problem ? Is there something being done about it ? What ?

        Given the overwhelming concern with T, there is no need for much of a public statement. It sure would have been nice to have DD AND prialt looking like winners. Two sentences in the qtrly press release, like ramp up on prialt is slow becuase of the need for titration experience among physicians and patients; and we forecast major changes over time. For all I know the rest of the CC said exactly that.

        Elan is an excellent research house that either needs major overhaul on the sales side or a parent that handles sales well. The middle of the infield is being handled by Don Budden and Pumpsie Green. Marvelous Marv Throneberry is playing first. Great outfield (DD) but weak up the middle.

    • I live about 3 hrs from King of Prussia, Pa. (Md.) Do you know if they give tours at that facility? Thanks in advance, Robert.

    • Thanks GTRT it's goodtoknowthis type of stuff.

      I'm kinda scratching my head about Prialt too, $1.8 million last quuarter. That's a far cry from $150 million annually. I thought that a large sales team would not be needed for Prialt, since there is a limited amount of pain centers set up to administer the drug.

      Oh well, now we know why we have agreements with BIIB and Wyeth.