There's a Kicker - SA article.
Then there is also their subsidiary Antigen Express, which is developing vaccines for improving immune responses. This product may turn out to be useful against viruses and cancers. They are currently having some luck in preventing relapse in breast cancer patients (reduction of 42% in the risk of relapse). How wide-spread would its use in cancer would be? They are also testing it against prostate, but it's early. And would it work against HIV or the next big virus wave? The stock woke up during the last bird flu epidemic. Hard to know, or put a price tag on. But okay, a possible price tag: $0 to $10 billion. It could be a hell of a kicker.
The company has proposed spinning off Antigen Express. The following link is a company press release, which speaks to its cancer research.
The present case is nearly the worst case, the company is worth from zero to $24 million, where it is now. Best case could be made for $12.8 billion - Pfizer's write off of $2.8 billion plus $10 billion for the vaccine technology. There are 372 million shares. So, I'm saying the company is worth anywhere from $0.06 to $34 per share...........
Do some DD.............A detailed update on development plans will be provided during the previously announced conference call scheduled for Thursday, January 31, 2013. Antigen Express is in late Phase IIb clinical development for early stage breast cancer that has provided very encouraging interim results and Phase I testing in prostate cancer has been completed.
The specific advantage of the cancer immunotherapy product AE37 is in early breast cancer by potentially stimulating the immune system to target HER2 (the target for Herceptin's effect) on breast cancer cells at low levels independent of immune type of the person. This follows in the footsteps of one of the most successful therapeutics ever developed for breast cancer (Herceptin), though AE37 potentially addresses an early breast cancer patient population of unmet need several times more common than those treated with Herceptin. In particular, while Herceptin is approved for use in roughly 25% of early stage breast cancer patients with high expression of HER2, it is not approved for the larger group of women (50% of women with early breast cancer) who have lower levels of expression of the target for Herceptin (HER2). Rather than attacking HER2 cancer cells directly as does Herceptin, AE37 works by stimulating the immune system to recognize HER2. The greater sensitivity of the immune system can thereby be brought to bear to recognize and kill cancer cells in this larger low HER2 expressing early breast cancer population. An additional potential advantage is that the immunological memory induced by AE37 means the immune system may continue to scan for and kill HER2 cancer cells long after AE37 treatment has been completed.
Herceptin is approved for metastatic and early stage breast cancer patients. Its 2010 annual sales were nearly $6B. Given that the initial target population for AE37 in early stage breast cancer patients is twice that of Herceptin, AE37 has the potential to achieve blockbuster status.
The potency of AE37 derives from a fragment of the HER2 protein combined with a proprietary modification developed at Antigen Express. While similar fragments of HER2 are also in clinical development for early stage breast cancer patients with low HER2 expression, they lack the potency of AE37. Further, their mechanism of action requires use to be limited to a sub-group of people with a specific genetic immune type. The clinical use of these alternative HER2 immune fragments therefore must exclude roughly half of the women with early breast who would otherwise be eligible. No genetic immune limitation or exclusion from clinical use is required for AE37 treatment. Any market competition in early breast cancer from these alternate HER2 fragments would be limited to the genetic immune sub-group, with AE37 facing no competition in patients excluded from other treatments. Further, additional genetic immune profile testing adds another diagnostic step before a woman with early breast cancer could get a potential new treatment. Any agents requiring additional testing may be at a competitive disadvantage.
Another advantage that sets AE37 apart from other types of related vaccines is that it contains a proprietary modification that is exclusive to Antigen Express. The modification, termed Ii-Key, derives its name from the immune regulatory molecule from which it is derived (Ii protein) and the fact that it functions as a 'key' to deliver its payload (HER2 fragment) to critical components of the immune system that ensure generation of a robust and specific immune response. What makes this modification unique is that it amplifies the vaccine potency of the HER2 fragment without loosing specificity, unlike many non-specific immune stimulants. The Ii-Key modification can be added to many different 'payloads' to generate a specific and robust immune response. Given the increasing interest in cancer immunotherapy, this will be very attractive to companies wishing to 'supercharge' their specific vaccines.
The positive interim data of the AE37 trial have received particular attention given the robust and well-designed nature of the Phase IIb trial. In addition to being the only randomized, controlled and blinded study conducted with this type of HER2 targeted immunotherapy, it is also the largest vaccine therapy study conducted in the adjuvant breast cancer setting to date (330 patients). In recognition of the quality of the trial and encouraging results, the abstract reporting the interim results was recognized with a 2012 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Merit Award bestowed by the Conquer Cancer Foundation and the 2012 Scientific Program Committee of ASCO. Further, the FDA has given the company the green light to proceed with submission of a Special Protocol Assessment for the Phase III trial.
Not to mention their diabetic drugs as well......