January 22, 2013

$PVCT: $CLSN? It's Time...

The Conservative Party must make its choice. Every leader is leader only with the support of his party. That is true of me too. That is why I am no longer prepared to tolerate the present situation. In short, it is time to put up or shut up. -- Sir John Major, Former British Prime Minister (c 1995)
Celsion announced today it "had signed a technology development agreement with a Chinese company by the name of Hisun in an effort to manufacture and market its lead-drug candidate better known as ThermoDox in China, Hong Kong and Macau." CLSN, a sub-$250MM market cap company prior to today's announcement, saw its share price increase more than 10%.

A regional oncology deal in China between Provectus and a Chinese Big Pharma company has been in the works for several calendar quarters, the makings of which emerged in the fall. Provectus has, together with its agent, worked through a considerable process of due diligence, evaluation and negotiation to arrive where it is today and where it might be in February.

Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical ("Hisun"), Celsion's strategic partner in China, did not appear on a 1Q2011 list of the top listed local (Chinese) pharmaceutical companies according to market capitalization.

Celsion's two-pronged agreement with Hisun deal break down this way (source: Roth Capital Partners):
  • Part 1: Hisun pays Celsion $10 million divided into two parts:
    • $5 million immediately as a technology development agreement with Hisun to further advance Hisun's manufacturing initiatives for ThermoDox, and
    • $5 million to be paid (following Chinese regulatory approval) where Hisun pays for a 60-day exclusive option to sign a commercialization agreement with Celsion for China (including Hong Kong and Macau).
  • Part 2: Pending positive HEAT Phase III data:
    • A $25 million non-refundable upfront payment, less the $10 million paid in Part 1 of the agreement.
    • $55 million in upfront and regulatory milestone payments, which if HEAT is successful, are anticipated to be received over the next 18 months.
    • $45 million in sales milestone payments
    • Escalating double-digit royalty payments on net sales of ThermoDox in China projected to top out in the mid-20% range.
Twitter awareness, discussion, excitement and skepticism of the Celsion-Hisun deal was prolific today. This story still has to play itself out.

Provectus' potential China deal appears to compare very favorably to Celsion's, not the least of which is all of Provectus' potential strategic partners are on the above list.

Provectus management is keenly aware of the critical importance of closing a good to great deal transaction of the scope, size and scale currently being contemplated in China: a much higher share price, greater market credibility, more funding resources for key and pivotal trials, and an increased market capitalization in the direction of management's end-game valuation expectations.

Follow China by deals of comparable scope, size and scale in India and Japan (as Craig communicated in his Noble presentation today), and the perception, conversation, and seriousness of Provectus' situation changes immediately, immensely and very dramatically: "Champagne would fall from the heavens. Doors would open. Velvet robes would part."

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