Merck left because no immediate money to make in Endocyte. + They have their own NSCLC (immune based solution to kill cancer cells). Merck is so smart they just put 120m upfront and wanted to make immediate money if Ovarian was successful. But, now commitment is longer and they have their own competing drug. Recent Eli Lilly study showed 9.1 to 10.5 OS improvement with PFS (3.5 something) so poor compare to EC145 (7.1 months) . EC145 is trending towards 3 months extra OS. I looked everywhere to see if there are any better competitor for NSCLC but there is none. Big thing about ECYT drug is super low toxicity since it is targeted therapy. All others have more toxicity when increased dose. Also, from merck side it is strategic shift to focus on Hep c. I dont think ECYT is doomed at all. It just basically we are back to Phase-2b instead of Phase-3 --drug approval. Target 15 is reasonable once Phase-3 begins with new partnership.
When the testing was halted it was assumed Merck would be out. Could be that they don't see as much promise in the future of this drug. At least not enough to be on the hook for up to $800mill+ in milestone payments. Testing is still ongoing for lung cancer. This stock jumped up to $33 on lung cancer news and down to cash value on ovarian cancer news. The company managed to raise a ton of cash at higher levels so they have plenty of cash and drugs in pipeline. This stock should be trading at $10-$15 easily just based on the current situation. Any good news and this should be north of $20. There is a reason this is only down a little over a buck on Merck news. There is plenty of risk, but at price levels of $10-$15 I'd say its 50/50. At these price levels it is almost a gift.