There has been confusion on the board regarding the probable meaning of these terms. The most likely scenario according to my experience and discussions with experts in this field is that this is a cost sharing collaboration with one or the other party to the collaborative agreement taking on the management and administration of the phase III trial. The reason the word "hand-off" has appeared in the presentation is that it is likely that a US collaborative party will come on board for assuring compliance with FDA requirements for the trial and possibly taking the drug through the US regulatory process.
Thus, under this scenario, there is no comparable partnership as was the case with INCY where substantial cash was paid upfront by a deep pockets partner. Rather, there will be a cost sharing arrangement wherein YMI's phase III trial costs are defrayed by its collaborative associate in some yet unknown proportion. In exchange, the selected US collaborative associate will participate in the revenues. How this will be done is now unclear but the US associate may receive revenues out of which it pays YMI a "royalty" of some kind. The size of this "royalty" would depend on the cost sharing arrangements, however, a 15%~20% royalty is not an uncommon arrangement.
Under this more than likely scenario, YMI has mortgaged its future and Wall Street will likely not cheer such an arrangement. My educated prediction is that upon announcement of such a deal, the pps would maximally inch up to the $1.80 level as an optimal scenario. However, I would not be surprised if the stock actually got spanked. With at least two years to go before FDA approvals, assuming such are obtained, and commercialization, YMI will surely need additional funding which may be significantly dilutive. At 157.5 million shares outstanding today, YMI is already highly diluted. Plus, there is a huge "time decay" factor here. Not very attractive.
With the above in mind, it is no wonder that the stock has gone nowhere and actually down since ASH results announcements. Further, to add to this disappointing mix, Glover's significant pay raise BEFORE a deal is announced now makes sense, at least for him. We have wondered why Glover would award significant pay raises before announcement of any relatively "imminent" deal. Now we virtually know. The deal sucks and the long suffering shareholders again pay the price while Glover and his cohorts line their pockets. The smart money knows all this. Naive shareholders hoping for a lucrative partnership ala INCY thus driving up the pps will be sorely disappointed.
This is not a stock to pin your hopes upon a good partnership or an acquisitive deal. Bamboozled investors will be sorely disappointed. Solution? Don't buy YMI or if you are holding it, sell ASAP while the stock still trades in the $1.60s level.
I'd hate to tell you----"I told you so!"
That doesn't address the reasons for getting rid of the Cuba piece. The would be absolutely no reason to do that under the scenario you've described.
What you're talking about is codevelopment and the language for that is not handoff. I would interpret a handoff as handing off the asset as in selling off the asset for an upfront (and milestones royalties) or licensing. A collaboration is licensing and a collaboration would also be co-development. I don't know what experience you have but I've never heard handoff used as you've described it. I don't think you know what you're talking about:)!