"but also multiple co-formulations of that therapy with long-acting opioids, for which Nektar could receive $310 million in development milestones"
Has HR ever given any guidance on how these milestones might work? He has given more detail for 118/Naloxegol recently, but we haven't heard much about the co-formulation idea (119). Obviously AZ wants to have the 118 data in hand before making a decision on how/if they should run with this, but it could represent a substantial additional infusion of cash above and beyond the Naloxegol payments. Since Naloxegol is already being dosed in patients taking opiods the coformulations would likely only have to go through some fairly straighforward bridging studies. As with most things an ounce of prevention "might" be worth a pound of cure. E.G. a lower dose in the coformulation (12.5mg/typical opiod dose) might be adequate. Time will tell, but there seems to be potential for additional hard cash from AZ that might begin flowing into NKTR coffers late 2013 at the earliest (but more likely 2014) depending on the nature of the development milestones. In any case its a shorter development path, so if all goes well for Naloxegol AZ to date seems to have the will to put resources behind these programs.
So hypothetically if at this time next year it's clear AZ is going ahead with 118 and 119, Baxter starts PIII and 061 is in PIII as well (not even factoring in a suprise on 102 or rest of pipeline, and deal speculation for 181 could be a HUGE factor in 12 mos.), where does that put NKTR? It just seems to me that the clock is ticking for the shorts even if it doesn't all pan out there's a whole lot of potential downside laying ahead for them. Time is not their friend IMO.
"Also tucked into the year should be a long-awaited Phase 3 start for inhaled amikacin,... and additional news from Map/Allergan for Levadex for migraine, for which it receives a mid-single digit royalty."
The above statement, which appears at the end of the Roth recommendation of NKTR, cites a mid-single digit royalty to NKTR for Levadex. That would translate into about a 10% ownership of the drug for NKTR.