November 16, 2011

The End Game: Pfizer. Really?

As you know by now, Dr. Craig Eagle, Vice President of Strategic Alliances and Partnerships for the Oncology unit at Pfizer, has been a member of Provectus' corporate advisory board since late-August 2011.

“Well, isn't that special?” (The Church Lady)

Google tells us that Dr. Eagle also is a member of Regenicin's board of directors (from an oncology perspective, why? personal interest?), starting in early-September 2010, and Generex's scientific advisory board (Generex: from an oncology perspective, why?; Antigen Express: from an oncology perspective, it make sense, perhaps), starting in early-August 2010.

Strictly looking at share price as one of many potential metrics to measure "relationship success," OTC:RGIN and OTC:GNBT are down some 90% and 75%, respectively, since Dr. Eagle's involvement with the companies began. In the case of Provectus, the share price is up a modest 5%.

"Please, sir, I want some more [information]." (Oliver Twist)

One could imagine the top 5 potential acquirers of the company, setting aside the eventual licensee of the dermatology business, are (in no particular order): Pfizer, J&J, Novartis, Roche and GSK.

Having worked for several years as a corporate strategic investor, the relationship with Pfizer, ostensibly nascent as it is, is interesting:
  • Acquisitions often times begin with baby steps: e.g., a revenue or non-revenue relationship of some sort, a mutual board director, a minority investment, etc.
    • But relationships are like living, breathing entities. They grow. They evolve. They live long. They sometimes die early.
  • Who initiated the relationship? Pfizer? Provectus? Small companies seek out larger companies, and larger companies seek out smaller companies. Who sought out who?
  • Adding a line executive (or any senior executive for that matter) to another company's board of directors or advisory board typically gives the originating company's general counsel or legal department fits. Sarcastically speaking, if it were left up to GCs and legal departments, the business world would be devoid of any kind of "partnership."
    • There is an internal champion of the relationship at the larger company. Who championed Provectus at Pfizer [to the leadership of the Oncology and Pfizer corporate], and why?
  • Did you know that Pfizer derives nearly de minimis revenues from oncology product sales? See below (3rd quarter 2011 performance); a few percentage points at best.
  • Where's smoke there's fire. So far, all we have is Dr. Eagle's presence on the corporate advisory board. Has there been more collaboration?
    • For example, Dr. Eagle has also been involved with teams that resulted in eight new products. Has he provided feedback on melanoma and/or liver trial design for PV-10?
  •  Is there more collaboration to come?

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