If they mean generally to just release the results it could mean anything. However, if they are talking as people in scientific communities do, publish means in some scientific journal.....and why would you publish a failure. You only would publish to let the scientific world know of a breakthough in cancer treatment. They have been very tight lipped and matter of fact up to now, and something could be lost in the translation. Publish or perish!
I believe we're looking into this release WAY too much. Don't forget that this is a Merck product now. Why would they put out a release to hurt or cap their own valuation if data were known to be negative at this point? They wouldn't. If nothing else this has to be interpreted as positive by all of us as they felt compelled to remind their shareholders that a catalyst is down the road. Why send a release out that places a cloud of uncertaintly over them for 2 quarters. They are under just as much pressure from their stock holders to provide results on this 6+yr trial and investment...just as we apply pressure to ONTY management. The statements to me are nothing other than quarterly reminder of a trial end anticipated with results know no later than the Q1 2013 time frame.
This was not a very helpful press release. Publish could indeed mean anything - from a PR with topline results to a full blown description of the trial and its results in a frontline journal. Negative results certainly do get published, so there is no way to eliminate that possibility from this German PR (and no reason to expect a negative result either).
To the extent I can figure out or guess anything from that short statement, I think "publish" was used in the most general sense of "tell the public how the trial turned out." So we will know by the 1Q 2013.
There is a hint that they are in the process of analyzing the results now, although that is not directly stated. I would think that Merck would know the topline data very quickly after breaking the blind. So, IF they are already analyzing data, I think it has to be a bad sign that we didn't get a more positive statement. Not results, but something like "we remain very optimistic about Stimuvax," which is after all a statement they made much earlier but have not recently repeated.
Does anyone know if the original PR was in German rather than English? If so, there might be translation issues. German Merck shares are up in recent weeks.
Overall I am a little less confident in a good START outcome, but I am nonetheless adding shares at these decreased prices with the idea of selling the new ones on a run up into 1Q 2013, which I still expect. I'll hold the number of shares I initially intended to gamble until results actually are released.
I think you're focussing too much on that word. In this context it just means release to the public (put out a press release). They currently don't know the results so they can't anticipate success or failure as you are suggesting. Publishing in a journal is a long process (shopping the piece around, getting acceptance, getting a slot in the publication schedule). If they had the data in hand in February the could be published in August if they were lucky. They don't have that kind of time to sit on results. So, when they say publish, think press release..
Not really what I expect. First if results are good this would not be shopped around for publication, it would be accepted quickly by the first journal it went to. We had an article some time ago (muc1 related) that we sent to Cancer Research and it was accepted in a few days, and appeared just a month later as breaking news. A trial as large as this and as well designed and anticipated, many journals will snap it up and publish it. All that said I would expect them to go the ASCO route and publish in a journal later.
Sentiment: Strong Buy