The breakfast webcast makes clear that they fully expect to have an announcement of a partnership for Phase III in the very near future...a partnership or a handoff...whatever that means. And...no one seems to care yet...but I think they will if he comes through with a decent looking partnership with a credible partner. I'm guessing Celgene but that is all it is...a guess.
Well, they must have been too lazy to read the abstract, data is outstanding:
Of the 145 patients evaluable for spleen response by palpation, 37% achieved a response per IWG-MRT. The median duration of spleen response reported was 744 days (range: 56 - 859 days, ongoing). Three additional subjects achieved spleen response during the Extension Study.
During the Core Study, 50% of evaluable patients achieved more than a 50% maximal decrease in spleen size from baseline, with 87% achieving more than a 25% maximal decrease.
Of the 51 patients who were evaluable for spleen response and dosed at 300 mg QD, 39% achieved a response per IWG-MRT.
In the Core Study, 11 patients were evaluable for spleen response by MRI. The response rate at six months was 45% by MRI (defined as a 35% decrease in spleen volume) and the median splenic decrease from baseline at six months was -41% by volume measure
Have you ever run an auction on a major corporate development deal? I do corporate development for a living, so let me tell you about it.
For a deal like this where there are hundreds of millions in value, the process often takes a year or longer. If it was shorter, I would be concerned they were not getting good value. First they discuss with many parties, then they debate over term sheets, with some bidding and asking back and forth. Finally it usually comes down to a couple preferred parties. Sometimes you go into contract negotiations with one of them, sometimes both. If one falls apart you default to the less preferred. Eventually you push for contract signing with one party.
Now, YMI has said the process remains competitive and they are willing to confirm that they will have a partner. This means, to me, the economics are agreed to with at least one party (more likely two, with one preferred), and they are likely on the later stages of the contracts. This legal wrangling usually is mostly immaterial but can take up to six more months after term sheets for motivated parties. Since he has said they will not start Phase 3 on their own I am guessing less than three months, otherwise they would not say that. In fact it could be imminent, like days or weeks away. Many times big corps want deals done before year end.
By the way, I am putting my money where my mouth is. I bought 165000 shares today.
For those of you waiting, I suggest you hold on a while longer. This is normal folks. Moreover, it bodes well for the quality of the deal. Based on how Incyte is doing, I think the value of this asset is going to be significant, and the validation by a partner will be worth alot (especially with all the current skepticism). I find it hard to see YMI's market cap stay under $500 million for long after a deal.