Good morning BTI investors...and it turned out nice again today.
As many longs here will know, BTI management met with Shire yesterday in Boston. They have 60 days to make a big decision ...and time is not on their side...it is on BTI's side now..not just for Shire. That makes things much more interesting now that both Abbott and AstraZeneca/MedImmune are well along the way in their understanding of BTI's world patented 'technology'....since Abbott has had many months to test drive Transcend with up to 5 therapeutic modalities...and MedImmune spent considerable time in DD before this week's 'unexpected' collaboration announcement...that we can now expect more of since 8 more pharmas are at the door and heads must be turning and bobbling away. He who hestiates is lost.
My guess is that the heat on all three has been stepped up a notch or ten now ... and that Shire has to know the technology works...have been coyly dragging their feet...and they have to know that both Abbott and Astra know the human Transcend protein technology works on human xenograft cells. Two of the above are two of the biggest pharma's on the world and Shire is no shrinking violet. The complexity of the overlapping areas of competitve concern between the three so far are quite tantalizing indeed. We are looking at end markets worth over $50 billion globally. In the mix we have CNS disorders, chronic pain management, Alzheimer's, cancer and ? Just imagine how many individual licensing agreements for specific therapeutics are already on deck. I wonder what Roche is thinking today? How much more time and evidence do they need to get off their bottoms..and how increasingly risky is that for them? And I simply must concur that they absolutely know exactly what is progressing in Texas.
Word from Texas is that the studies are ended and that thousands of data points must be analyzed before guidance is issued circa January. So, we will have tumor growth arrested, terminated...or, if fortune is smiling on BTI, the cancer cells will be destroyed. All three outcomes are positve.
So, the way I see it, there is a possibility of at least 10 news releases over the next 60 days, some of which can happen on any day...as re the 8 pharmas, any one of which could announce collaboration agreements just as Astra did this week. BTI will not know until contacted. Then we have the Shire decision, perhaps something from Abbott...Astra...Roche?...and of course, Texas. I wonder how many other eyes are now trained on BTI? News travels fast.
The game has changed and BTI is indeed in a unique position with 'the stick' as pmrider mentioned. There no tolerance now for the often typical arrogance that a big pharma with big bucks can throw at a small biotech. These companies have $billions of quickly accessible funds at their disposal....Astra alone has $8 billion. It makes some sense thinking that a few hundred million to throw at even a smaller drug licensing agrement is easily doable...and even expendible now that BTI has so much potential. How can a Shire simply drag their feet any longer with monstors like Abbott and Astra breathing down their backs? I would think it is now a gamble they will not take...could be wrong...but that's what I think considering the credentials of the Pres., Ms Gregoire. Prudence is in play rather than risk I should think.
One last thing. I really am impressed how Rob Hutchinson and management have kept such a tight lid on any rumours or supposed inside info that can seriously hamper a small biotech. Big Kudos to them and we can expect it to continue. The market needs simple, impactful news before we see the affect on the share price...that will be when the dam breaks I a thinking..