It's all about the MANF patents. These proteins can be modified to treat the diseases they are trying to treat (like Parkinsons, Myocardial Infarction, Alzheimers, TBI, etc) better but anyone that wants to work on MANF or anything similar to it has to go through AMBS. There's a reason why Hermo Pharma challenged these patents. Ask yourself why Hermo Pharma felt compelled to challenge their MANF patents. If you don't believe me then read this interview with the partner of Hermo Pharma, who is a VC backed biotech startup and received $700k in funding from the Michael J. Fox Foundation on why they challenged the patents:
These are his own words:
"Their patent covers all sequences with 90% homology to MANF (182 amino acid protein -- variation in 18 amino acid residues allowed, 20 options for each position -- you do the math; the result is an astronomical number of variants!). According to the patent law this causes "an undue burden" to anyone who would like to test these variants for activity. This is the explanation why we have challenged the EPO granted patent on MANF for Amarantus."
Right now MANF is producing much better results than GDNF produced at this stage and GDNF was purchased for over $250 Million AT THIS STAGE of testing.
AMBS is only worth $9 Million right now.
Versus $250 Million.
Do the math.
And listen to people that know the science like Dr. Rubinfeld who said "I believe that MANF could be one of the biggest successes that I have ever seen". This isn't just some schlub. It's the co-founder of Amgen.
I love that article. Just listen to what Hermo PHarma is stating. AMBS's patents on MANF cause an undue burden on anyone trying to test MANF. Hello!?!? Anyone bashing this company is doing it because they are naive enough to think their words will somehow cause the stock to drop. Good luck with that.
We're going to get details from non other than Dr. Rubinfeld himself on 1/8/13. I can't tell who I'm going to pay attention to: some twerpy college kids on this board bashing the stock because they want to buy it lower or the co-founder of Amgen. It's a tossup.
Just remember that anything with a 90% similarity (homology) to MANF is considered to have the same characteristics that the AMBS patents cover. So if they alter GDNF during phase II trials and it has a similar structure then they have to talk to AMBS about licensing it. There is a reason Hermo Pharma challenged their patents and why the co-founder of Amgen said "MANF could be the biggest success I have ever seen."
I disagree! I did the math and what you're saying is with potential cures/tests for Parkinsons,TBI,Cardial Infarction,Alzheimers,etc. we are only worth $250million (~$1 PPS). I think we are worth billions! :)
Sentiment: Strong Buy
I like to err on the side of caution. I think the parallel to GDNF is obvious so why not just take that comparison and assume the same value (despite it having better results) with a 65% discount? I think that gives us enough margin of safety. Even with these assumptions there is still tremendous upside.
There is a reason the co-founder of Amgen said "MANF could be one of the biggest successes that I have ever seen" and why Hermo Pharma challenged their patents. The market is slowly waking up to these facts.
According to Henri at Hermo Pharma the delivery method has been vastly improved since the GDNF trials. That is why Gill University picked up GDNF again and is in phase II trials. This was the major impediment for GDNF. The beauty is AMBS owns MANF patents and MANF has been shown to be much better at this stage of testing than GDNF was.
I'm still shocked to see a $12 Million market cap given how valuable GDNF was / is and how MANF is showing much better results and AMBS has patent protection. I wouldn't be surprised to see a $100 Million market cap relatively soon.