$1Billion to $2.5 Mkt cap in no time...Crooke said.. last conf call.
Isis' market value as of last week hovered around $1 billion. That makes it more valuable than all but a handful of biotech companies.
But Crooke said the company should be valued much higher, based on the worth of Isis' drugs in development; milestone payments and royalties from its partners; and the likelihood of even more drugs from its proprietary and increasingly powerful "antisense" technology.
Crooke didn't specify what steps Isis would take to get its stock price to rise. He said the price should go up of its own accord when Isis' flagship cholesterol drug, Kynamro, hits the market. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and European regulators are reviewing a marketing application for Kynamro.
"Eventually, Kynamro will take care of the stock price, because then we'll become an earnings story, and it becomes pretty easy to calculate" Crooke said. "But we need to do that before then."
Isis' big pharmaceutical partners provide another line of defense, Crooke said. These companies, including GlaxoSmithKline, Genzyme (now part of Sanofi-Aventis), Novartis and Biogen Idec, have made deals with Isis worth a total of $2.5 billion.
"Our strategy is such that it puts in the hands of our partners exactly what they'd buy us for, new product opportunities," Crooke said. "And so we have a way of providing what's needed without an acquisition. And most people in the pharmaceutical industry understand that when they buy a company like Isis, they run it.
"We've had to deal with that several times in our past. The ability to provide what is really wanted by the pharmaceutical company, at a price that's lower than acquisition ... is another element of the strategy."
Developing multiple partnerships also strengthens Isis against a takeover, Crooke said.
"Those partnerships are going well, so that anyone who thinks about an acquisition certainly has to contemplate the possibility of several bidders," Crooke said.
"We don't want an acquisition," he said. "We don't think any multiple of today's price is fair."