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SciClone Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Message Board

  • westcoastdoc westcoastdoc Aug 9, 2005 12:32 PM Flag

    A few more thoughts

    1)Thanks to the two people who sent me the Jefferies report. You know who you are and I won't identify you. Basically, it was just a few lines downgrading to "hold" with a 12-18 month target price of 6. No mention was made of target price of 4, like somebody posted. Nevertheless, damage was done. Price was 6.15 when this report was posted and reason given was that "stock had surpassed his $6 target." Give me a f__ing break!
    2)I am going to take SSK's position on Cavazza brothers. I bet we see more buying activity if share price goes below 5 but probably not if we stay above it.
    3)Lngtrm, I listened to the conference call and I did not hear a "disaster." I heard that the last hep C pt would complete program in Feb 06, which was 3 months later than I would have thought. Not a disaster. I can also argue with you that this stock goes up and down so much these days that both optimists and pessimists have been correct. For now, it's a traders' stock. Try to buy low and sell high. We are down as quickly as we are up, take advantage of it. Looks like a buy again at these levels. Bet we hold 5.
    4)I also was a Scios holder. Many similarities here. Don't let them get your shares on stop-loss orders. More later...

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    • >> Jeffries/Walsh are pissed about something. I hope SciClone finds another investment banking company to do business with. <<

      Maybe SCLN is already looking for another investment banker ... and Jeffries/Walsh got wind of it. Just a thought.


    • <but I can't think of any real substantial reason for them to keep that information secret.>

      Perhaps there is a fox in the hen house and the company execs are in a quite/due dilligence period?

    • >>>By the way, I still think it was totally unfair to pick the moments after Ira Lawrence's first conf call (which I thought went very well) for Adam Walsh to issue his downgrade. Jeffries/Walsh are pissed about something.<<< When did the info on Japan become apparant that it would not be possible to file for Japan approval? Isn't this one of the reasons the stock tanked last time (after secondary offering by Jeffries?) If so, Jeffries was hoodwinked along with their reputation when they pushed sciclone stock offering.

    • In general, I don't see how it really is in Sigma Tau's interest to get the data out as quickly as possible to the scientific community. They are privately held, so they have no shareholder concerns. They are in a holding period where they are not allowed to sell any SCLN shares (I doubt they want to). They could care less about retail shareholders like you and me. There are likely strategic advantages to them to hold onto the news as long as is feasible. Potential advantages would include ability to buy more SCLN stock on the cheap, as well as strategic advantage vis-a-vis other companies that may want to start developing their own versions of thymalfasin. At one point in previous conference call I recall someone (I think it was Al Rudolph) stating that SCLN has to keep twisting the arm of Sigma Tau to get them to release anything by reminding them of US Fair Disclosure rules. Why would Paolo or Claudio care about getting the melanoma data out ASAP? Their preference might be to wait as long as possible and it may be SCLN management that has convinced them to reach data by year end. Lastly, I have no idea of the patent situation with melanoma (do we have an US use patent or does Sigma-Tau have an exclusive European use patent?)...If there is any question there, then they would probably want to hide their data until they are ready to launch a P3 or file for European approval. Money talks and Cavazza buying is enough to convince me that they believe share price (at least under 5) represents a steal. I can't see the price staying below 5 for long though I could see it testing that level tomorrow or Friday. I wish the RBC analyst would chime in with support or better yet a new analyst would come on board.

    • No, I misspoke. Of course, when half the patients have died then the median survival is defined. I really meant that as study progresses and patients start dying (which happens pretty soon given devastation of metastaic melanoma), the median survival in each subgroup quickly becomes defined and doesn't change much as study progresses. The Cavazzas should have had ample time to observe enough patients to know about where median survival is in each group by now (except the new group of course).

    • WCD, if as you surmise the Cavazza's already know that survival has been extended, why would you imagine, other than they are Italian, that they would choose to keep that under wraps? It is an open label trial. they own millions of shares of SCLN and are quite aware that releasing that kind of info would cause a sensation and the stock would shoot up big time. I realize they own Sigma and can choose to release anytime they want or don't want(though I'm not as sure as apparently some that the Sigma/Sciclone arangement wouldn't allow Sciclone to chose to release data at their discretion)but I can't think of any real substantial reason for them to keep that information secret. It is in their interest and in their partners interest who they own 20% of for the information to be released. If that thought process makes sense then a supposition that the data may be not as strong as we have been assuming is not out of the realm of possibility. So bottom line, why do you think the Cavazza's would choose to keep earth shattering info under wraps when it doesn't serve any purpose I can think of and certainly wouldn't prohibit them in any way of extending an additional dosing arm? Just what are your thoughts becasue really, quite honestly I cannot myself understand why they'd choose to keep that kind of data secret unless the data wasn't that hot.(which might be what the analyst is thinking)

    • Sorry, the point I was making with my median vs mean statement is as follows: When studying a disease with a very low survival like stage 4 melanoma, once you have half the patients complete the study the median survival will change very little. The mean will lengthen (as those with longer term responses stay alive), but the median doesn't unless the study population changes during the enrollment period. Therefore, I believe the Cavazzas already know if a survival benefit has been demonstrated and its magnitude. If increasing the dose of Z caused survival to lengthen (they haven't said that yet), then it is very logical, almost imperative, to try an even higher dose to see if greater survival benefit can be obtained. Don't discount the possibility that if the data is truly striking a P2/3 trial can be taken directly to the European equivalent of the FDA (per Dr. Rudolph 3 months ago). It won't really take Sigma Tau that long to see if the higher dose is working and it is so important in the P3 trial to use the right dose. One can argue (hindsight always 20/20) that the Hep C trial in US should have included ribavirin but at the time of study design this wasn't so clear. We're lucky they waited to use Pegasys instead of plain old interferon.
      By the way, I still think it was totally unfair to pick the moments after Ira Lawrence's first conf call (which I thought went very well) for Adam Walsh to issue his downgrade. Jeffries/Walsh are pissed about something. I hope SciClone finds another investment banking company to do business with. I have zero respect for Adam Walsh. As I said before, I don't think he's stupid but I think there were ulterior motives in play here. It will be interesting to see if SCLN gets any positive write-ups from other investment houses now that it sold off on promising news.

    • Actually that did come up and the implication was that if the data was good enough they would take it to "the authorities"(?). Here's my theory. Lawrence listened to all the past cc's by DS and W. His conclusion was that he could easily equal their obtuseness and bring the stock price down where Sciclone management felt comfortable. Clearly he's the equal of DS and easily Waldron. And what's the point of your median mean statement. the trial is MORE than half done! Unless they are planning to run the trial until you or Sno pass from old age. If I remember correctly this stupid trial began(though not really) in 2002. It's been running over three years. The median was reached sometime in early 04. It's really hard to be serious about this pitiful company and their never ending trials. Maybe they should hire Johny Depp. The could call their trials never neverland.

    • WCD try What I said was the info provided was quite as vague as all previous cc's and ceo's. By not answering specifically the question in regard to extending the P2, posed by the analyst it managed to be a negative. I think most analysts believe, with good reason that if a company has good news they don't hide it so it is not unreasonable for them to take the dosing question as a negative. The P3 extension is simply not good news in anybodies world. That is particularly so when they have previously stated something quite different and with their track record of both truthfullness and effectiveness in bringing trials to a positive conclusion the info is certainly a negative and leaves open the question is Feb really a firm date and when does the company then plan to release data. Add to that Walsh's question about Doc's questioning validity, and the tepid response(given there is at least some grain of truth in the skepticism) and I'd say on balance the cc was a typical Sciclone disaster. On the surface, with only starry eyed analysis it sounded good. Pick it apart and you get a price drop of some $2 in 24 hours and $3 in the last 5 trading days. You can rationalize til the cows come home that this is normal(like hell)SCLN behavior and others can call me all kinds of names and tell me per usual to sell, but I contend this company and management would find a way to fuck up, I don't know, Mcdonalds, the Patriots. It would serve this country well if they were to take over the management of Al Queda. Ok I know all you colleagues, you think I should sell and not post negative thoughts or analyses. Nobody wants to sit next to me at the victory party(ha ha) that I wouldn't attend if SSK paid my way. So give it a break. I've been long this stock off and on since 99 and this time since 2002. It has not been the most pleasant experience and if I want to vent, that's my right as an unpatriotic American.

      • 3 Replies to lngtrmspcultor
      • If you are not a short then you are a threat of suicide. If you want deep, talented, well respected management then buy GE. Micro-caps have shallow, first time, unknown managements that are less experienced, more mistake prone and far less sheltered by the layers of middle management that separated, say Jack Welch from the average analyst. February is NOT a date cast in stone and you seem to think it should be. Even Microsoft and Intel miss deadlines for product introductions and, gee, they have somehow muddled through. You are right that the market is taking the company to task for the reality of the outlook for the next quarter or two and the uncertainties facing the company and investors alike. But this is the same market that chased the stock from 2.10 to over 8 on innuendo, insider buying by foreigners, and irrationally hoped for news that isn't going to be there until the tests are done. You want SCLN management to disclose how the P2 tests in Europe are going when that is up to Sigma Tau. The new CEO repeatedly stated how excited both SCLN and Sigma Tau are about the Melanoma tests and that the third arm (in answer to that direct question during the CC) was NOT being started because the lower doses didn't work but because the improvement from dose to dose suggested that increasing the dosage even more might be even more useful.
        As far as HCV P3 in the US, if the combination of Z and Peg IA shows better results than Peg IA alone then there will be an application for approval submitted to the FDA because the mechanism by which it works is different from Lamivudine and Ribavirin and the trial enrollees were from a group of prior treatment failures for whom Lamivudine (or IA for that matter) have had little success. I would expect doctors to try any and all combinations depending on the patient. The analysts will pooh-pooh these results until the money starts coming in. Finally, a lot of the recent volume in the stock came in after the run up to 6 and above. These are weak hands(even institutional investors act like sheep) and routinely will dump in a panic when they are confronted with their foolishness. Walsh's $6 valuation is fair or even a little rich for the current situation but Sno is correct that there is nothing in Walsh's 12 to 18 month outlook for any of the upside factors. My guess is that in that 12 to 18 month period the stock will have plenty of upside to discount and Adam Walsh will be raising his recommendation to buy, but at a higher price. Sic Semper, Analysts.

      • Lngtrm, you and I have both been right and we've both been wrong as to the direction of the stock price over the past 2 years. I guess given that we're sitting smack in the middle of the 52-week high and the 52-week low (both achieved in last 3 months), it's anyone's guess as to what happens next. I heard the conf call differently than you and Adam did, I guess. Let me put it as simply as I can, here's a rough time sequence of past yr's activity:

        1)Cavazzas buy boatloads of stock via selling put options and buying calls in Nov 04. At that point melanoma trial is at least 50% enrolled per my guesstimate.
        2)Cavazzas get put a few million shares SCLN at prices $5 and below with subsequent rise only after Russell exclusion (which guarantees more buying next June if SCLN back in Russell).
        3)Rumors float about that Sigma Tau is continuing to enroll patients in melanoma trial even after target of 320 patients is achieved.
        4)SciClone announces that there is a positive dose-response seen in Zadaxin melanoma trial and that Sigma Tau indeed has added a fifth arm with higher dose of Z since no toxicity is seen with higher and higher doses of Z. Preliminary results, which we already have been told are positive, will be announced at year end.

        That's the rough chronologic order of events. How on earth is this a negative?? The reason to try the 6.4 mg dose of Z is to see what is the best dosage to use for the US P3 trial. It may seem simple to the second guessers on this board, but figuring out a dose of medication for the P3 trial is far from that. SciClone (and patients and shareholders) will have to live with this dosing protocol decision. Sigma Tau would not be spending more money on this trial if they didn't like what they were seeing. Cavazzas have been buying stock on open market--they tell us there is a positive dose-response--they tell us prelim results will be released by year end. What part of this does Adam Walsh choose not to understand?? He is either stupid or dishonest. Take your pick. I'm not in a charitable mood today, I don't think he's stupid. I bet Jeffries is not the investment house that SciClone next uses for its business.

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