This is one of Pessin's portfolio companies. Hasn't been a good investment for him. However, just acquired today at 100% premium. Pessin isn't an activist investor? Hmmm....
BTW; CEMI is going to be his best investment since Nautilus. He probably wishes he had bought more than 10.5%
Alere is developing a standalone (as far as we know) USM malaria test. They are pouring massive resources into this effort. And, yet, has USM already been rendered obsolete by multiplex febrile illness assays. If someone has a fever, and it isn't malaria, what then? Send them home with a couple of aspirin? Standalone tests simply don't help HC providers treat patients. Nor do they help to control epidemics.
So, global diagnostic company X can spend tens of millions attempting to develop some sort of multiplex, or they can buy CEMI, which will likely have one as early as 2017. Seems like a no brainer. And, yet, CEMI wallows here at barely more than 1x revs. This should be trading at 3x right now based on what CEMI has going on under the hood (double entendre intended).
Yes, I know, there might be problems in Brazil or Mexico, but who cares at this point.
They both sat there with wads of idle cash waiting for...what? They could have picked up CEMI on the cheap, but now that the growth engines are starting to rev, the price is going up fast. Too bad, so sad.
Would I be surprised to see an activist step in here? Not at all. Overpaid, underperforming management, lots of cash. That's the formula.
Yep. This also explains why Sperzel was on the West Coast last week. Probably final meetings with Allen. No doubt Allen got feedback from Gates labs on DPP USM validation studies. It's highly likely Sperzel discussed preliminary data from malaria, dengue and Ebola field trials currently ongoing.
My analysis of CEMI's Ebola test indicates it is inferior to OSUR's. That may not matter, since a standalone Ebola test isn't of much value when a fever could indicate infection with any number of illnesses.
That's right. There's no growth in HIV (quite the opposite, actually). CEMI is tantalizingly close to being a growth company once again.
The point is not that CEMI got $2 million to develop febrile illness, it's that Allen obviously got word from Gates that the malaria test was a winner. Had Gates given a thumbs down to malaria, THERE WOULD BE NO Allen grant. We on this board had, of course, already gotten a look at the malaria data, and it was very good indeed (with the reader). So, we had some understanding, but Sperzel was clearly trying to play down expectations. Now, things are becoming much clearer.
I'd expect the febrile illness to take awhile. You've got to to make sure there aren't cross-sensitivities and other unforeseen issues. However, the malaria standalone or malaria-ebola test is probably good-to-go sometime in 2016. Will be interesting to see if CEMI signs a distribution deal with a larger diagnostics company for these tests. Sperzel referred to "our partners." I'd probably expect any distribution deal to net upfront cash for CEMI.
CEMI just got an Allen grant to develop its multiplex febrile illness assay, which includes Ebola, Marburg, Dengue (including subtypes), the various malaria antigens and more. OSUR is sitting there with a virtually useless standalone Ebola assay. Yes, the feds are heaping cash on OSUR for Ebola. That seems more like crony capitalism than good medicine. In the end, there will just be warehouses full of unused and expiring Oraquick Ebola.
If malaria works, and that seems to be the case based on this grant, we're talking tens of millions of tests at a minimum of 50 cents. No doubt a febrile illness assay would get substantially more than 50 cents. We're talking about multiples more revenue for CEMI.
Here's one answer TRIB: Sperzel could have been your CEO and Klugewicz could have been your COO. That would have been worth the price of admission right there.
Guess we're getting a bit of sell the news, but regulars here know what this grant means in terms of the efficacy of existing CEMI malaria and dengue efforts.
ALR may be developing an USM test, but they don't have multiplex capabilities. OSUR has an Ebola test, but they don't have multiplex capabilities. This is a killer app in that regard.
No doubt Allen group had access to CEMI's malaria test. There's no point funding a test which can't detect the various malaria antigens. This grant is confirmation that DPP Malaria works.
I think the theory here is that PRKCG only crosses the BBB in the context of neuronal damage. My two questions would be, do detectable levels of PRKCG exist outside the CNS and, if not, are even minor concussions detectable by assay of PRKCG outside BBB.
A further question is, why have Riblet and Bell failed to achieve success after so many years? Clearly, they believe this can work, or they wouldn't be continuing. Is this a case of Ahab and the whale?
There existed a company called Lesanne Life Sciences, which seems to have been shuttered. Lesanne was working on using a compound called PKCgamma as a biomarker to id ischemic stroke, TIA, traumatic brain injury and other CNS events. Apparently, the effort failed. My guess is that some or all of the intellectual property was purchased by Perseus in an effort to revive the project.
Some of the key players apparently have moved from Lesanne to Perseus. These seem to include Leslie Riblet and Ann Cornell-Bell. (Lesanne seems to be a conjugate of the two names). Mr. Riblet has a tremendous R&D resume (Buspar, among others, ie big time stuff). The pair seem to have been collaborating since the worked at Viatech Imagin almost 20 years ago when the patent for PKCgamma was originally filed.
Let's just say Riblet and Cornell-Bell have been doggedly working on this idea for two decades without success. Could the third try be the charm?