Synthetic immunology has been priced and the assets are getting hotter. Transaction city. While it can't happen next week, it can happen the following couple of weeks. I believe Kirk sells ZIOP and sticks with his 50% of the profits, etc at xon, essentially having his cake, eating it too, while hiring another baker to make more cake.
It's all about market cap not number of shares. If you want the best CAR T bang for the buck, look at ZIOP. It some sense, they all will flow together with one spurting here and another there. Gotta love it. GLTA
I would encourage anyone interested in CAR T to read the November quarterly filing of KITE, note 6 on
NOTE 6—LICENSE AGREEMENTS AND CRADA. It gives 30,000 foot peak at what theyve been working on the past couple of years, and how they're buying others tech on the cheap.
ZIOP, with its needed XON technology to control side effects and provide the capacity to quickly discover antigen -Tcell pairs, and essentially remanufacture endometrial stem cells should at least be on par. How about a deal?
Tomorrow or Friday - otherwise January. It'll be interesting to see the pricing on the IPOs. We have 18.7MM shares short with price rising and volume dropping. Historically, an increase in price has led to increasing short shares. I'm wondering if Kirk's "transactions" are having an effect. Good news without an M&A price would rocket this. Hopefully good news with an M&A price would rocket it as well. Patience.
Weds, again, very low volume. Based on yesterdays and todays likely volume, it gives shorts about 40 days to cover 18MM shares. This will either end big up, or big down, cannot be sideways due to the quantity of shares shorts need and the high carry rates (30%) they're paying. We had a nice bounce off the moving average, and hopefully some news either this week or the first few weeks of January. Happy Holidays and GLTA.
Very low volume this morning suggests the shorts aren't working it very hard at this point. That bodes well for we longs.
Stopped at the moving average. Futures are down this morning. Hopefully we bounce off the moving average, but I suspect the shorts will be shorting more this morning to break through the moving average. Will be interesting to see what happens and a good test of this support, hopefully. I'm expecting news this week or the first 2/3s of January on deal announcement. Big IPOs on this Thursday in this space. HEATING UP.
I think Kirk will get what the market will give, and I think that's a significant premium to where it currently trades. I believe that is why the stock is moving, along with Kirks mention of "transactions" We, on the outside, don't know what the proprietary IP is, and that will determine the price. Also, we don't know where this would trade without the 18MM shares short in the equation. That represents 18 million shares that have been sold and would have to be re-bought. That is no small amount. At any rate, it's all just speculation until it's not. But who knows where the price will be by then. I do think the underlying premise that gets this sold is it being the shortest distance to market. It will take a huge amount of capacity to take advantage of what's being created and Kirk won't let the potential rot on the vine, in my view.
I believe ZIOP will be sold to a Big Pharma related oncology research group within the next several weeks. I don't have any non-public information, but I believe the timing and needs are compelling. 1st, ZIOP doesn't have the funds to pursue the potential of their own (and Intrexon's) technology as it relates to oncology. They cannot get enough money to do it either, though some will disagree with me. The cadre of researchers in CAR T and PD 1 and synthetic immunology oncology is a limited group, and ZIOP can't hire enough of them. That means partnership or sale, and I believe the latter makes sense for all concerned. A well heeled big Pharma supported research group will have in place the people and financing structure to move on the NDIs that have been discussed, as well as other research areas required to simply pursue what we have. ZIOP needs a huge amount of money to pursue these venues.
2nd. Time. If you're not at the front of the line in a competitive way with a new technology, you have old technology. This field is bursting with potential, and Kirk will not waste time with 10 different deals, 5 raises and years of trying to hire in order to re-create the wheel, in my view. I feel that in order to make the most meaningful contribution to oncology, you have to go with an existing structure in order to get into the research and markets in a timely way. 3rd. Intrexon - The mother ship will not forever fund NDI research, but support the synthetic biology component. XON will still be in for 50%. The Kirk platform will gain great momentum and vindication of method. As well, Kirk has other healthcare related companies that will all benefit from a sweet new relationship with Big Pharma.
There are other bright people that believe this will get partnered out. I don't believe ZIOP indendently adds enough to the picture for it to stay independent. So. I'm waiting for news.
I would add that a good sale to Big Pharma would be worth more to XON than us, in my view. It would lend credence to RJs platform and business method of ECCs and well as establish a solid pipeline for both the ZIOP acquirer and for XON. A beautiful and compelling reason for it to move. I was briefly in healthcare M&A, long enough to get screwed by the sharks from GE, to learn that a letter of intent is junk mail, and that you only succeed when the value and reasons for a deal are compelling -- like they are here and now.
There's a certain percentage of shorts that won't want to enter the weekend short this one. The cost to short ZIOP remains around 2 1/2 % per month or about 2MM per month for the 18MM shares short. The costs rise with the daily rise in the share price. The danger of deal announcement prior to opening on Monday morning is not an insignificant risk in my view. We should rise into the close IF that theory holds.
When you practice landings in a small plane, you do a touch and go. You put land the plane but instead of stopping, you give it full throttle and take off. I'm thinking we may do that with ZIOP around 10am., touch the opening price and take off. The cost of shorting shares has not come down today. M&A is still in front of us. There is no warrant overhang. Our market area of car t and PD1 is on fire. On the other hand, if you need ziop for tax loss selling, your time is running out!
We should have data on exercise within 2 days via SEC filing. If the shares were being used by shorts, they would have exercised them, as there is no way that volume could otherwise be garnered without massively increasing the price of the stock. It will be interesting to see the next shares short accounting as well as the exercise here. The cost to borrow shares today has not changed since the expiration yesterday. Will be interesting to see if availability and cost change tomorrow. GLTA.
I still think this and am more confident every day. It's all falling into place. The recent pull of the poster is yet another indicant of the situation. It is rare for this to happen. Clearly the poster was approved by the highest people at ZIOP and XON, but they have a small group and though absolutely the cream of the crop, they are just a few people. But with ZIOP on the block, and I believe to be acquired in weeks, not months, by a large, well heeled oncology play backed by a big pharma, the due diligence of the acquirer says, WHOA. You can't put this out there without noting the related IP XYZ. This is what happens when you add more brilliant scientists and researchers to a new field. And Kirk, et al, realized they were right. Pull it.
Dr. Emtage brings to Intrexon over sixteen years of biologics development experience in the fields of oncology, autoimmunity, infectious diseases, and inflammation. Most recently, Dr. Emtage was Vice President of Immune Mediated Therapy in the Oncology Innovative Medicines group at Medimmune, the biologics research and development subsidiary of AstraZeneca, where he was head of immunotherapy program development focused on oncology. Dr. Emtage's responsibilities included the creation and implementation of a comprehensive immune therapy cancer strategy and coordination of this strategy with key partners across Medimmune and project teams. Prior to joining Medimmune, he held senior positions at Femta Pharmaceuticals and Nventa Biopharmaceuticals. Dr. Emtage holds a B.S. and M.S. in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the University of Guelph, and received his Ph.D. in Molecular Virology, Immunology and Inflammation at McMaster University. His career started with a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health followed by his roles of Research Scientist at Aventis Pasteur and Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He will report to Mr. Krishnan.
My view is also that today's announced hire by Intrexon for the VP position in Synthetic Immunology suggests AstraZeneca is in the hunt for ZIOP. Why else would Peter go to Intrexon rather than Ziopharm? AstraZeneca has an active Car T program, the former leader of which is now at Intrexon. AstraZeneca has about 6BB in cash and has the size and scope to take advantage of all the potential NDIs that ZIOP could never bring to market, while providing the marketing and research cash and relationships.