June 17, 2013

Horserace (updated)

In illustrating the horse race, I mean to convey or say "crossing the finish line" implies a funded transaction. So, while it will be interesting to watch if Provectus inks an MOU with Chinese pharmaceutical company Hisun-Pfizer (or another Chinese company) this week, the funding of this transaction might more likely occur within 30-60 days after the MOU is signed/announced.

The current perspective is an Indian company is more likely to consummate (i.e., fund) a regional transaction, and thus deliver the upfront payment to Provectus first, followed by a Japanese pharmaceutical company. At the moment, it would seem the Chinese upfront payment is viewed as arriving third behind the Indian and Japanese payments.

I will review the situation after Peter returns from Japan.

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The above written or said, a regional transaction may not occur until the FDA provides regulatory clarity to Provectus. As I wrote in my "$PVCT is Going for BTD. BTD is Tantamount to Approval." post, the company sought this clarity through its original, initial pursuit of accelerated approval ("AA"), followed by initiating a parallel path to pursue a special protocol assessment ("SPA") and eschewing a traditional "non-SPA" MM Phase 3 trial. While both paths, AA and SPA, remain viable, the breakthrough therapy designation ("BTD") arrived last year and now appears the more active or likely path to clarity.

While management certainly could be blown away by the pricing and structure of a regional transaction from an interested party, it is not unreasonable to think these companies, as do potential investors, also are waiting for regulatory clarity before they present Provectus with terms and conditions.

As I wrote in my "#PVCT's #China #Arbitrage Opportunity post," on the one hand, while many Western Big Pharma companies are very interested in the drug, they still desire to understand the story of how and why a very effective local agent can have as comparable systemic and immunologic benefit. Thus, we waited for Moffitt. On the other hand. the Chinese (and the Indians and the Japanese) are much more interested in understanding whether PV-10 works and works cost-effectively. Both hemispheres agree the drug is safe, and both acknowledge PV-10 is effective. It is possible, however, that cultural differences might contribute to each party's thinking and decision-making processes. One wants to know why and how, while the other wants to know how much.

But Moffitt arrived in early-April. So what gives?

It is not unreasonable to think these regional pharmaceutical companies are waiting for regulatory clarity before they present Provectus with terms and conditions. It's also not unreasonable to think management also is waiting for regulatory clarity before they accept any terms and conditions on regional and/or global license transactions.

If the path of clarity is a decision of "better" (a truncated MM P3 trial) or "best" (AA), with "good" (SPA) available but not chosen, it strikes me that all parties -- management, regional pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer and Big Pharma -- have their respective reasons and rationale to wait until regulatory clarity is made transparent.

Wouldn't you think the topic of what "we" (Provectus & Pfizer) do after BTD is attained (and then, more specifically, AA or a truncated trial) might have been discussed?

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Take for example the "non-unique" story of a fund that desires to put money into Provectus via an open market purchase of common stock (i.e., the shares you and I own), by dipping its toe in the water to establish an initial position of 1.5 to 4.5 million shares.

Without regulatory clarity, there's no clear exit for the fund and its managers. They cannot and do not buy, but merely wait on the sidelines. As do many others.

To most, including the above mentioned fund, the question of regulatory clarity -- in its mind and most others -- boils down to Provectus attaining the SPA from the FDA and then having to run a $30-$50 million Phase 3 trial. In the minds of this fund, dip its toes in the water now, at 63 cents, and following the clarity of an SPA, suffer 20-40% dilution (roughly) when Provectus raises aforementioned money to fund the trial. Better to wait and buy after the fund raising or, better, participate in it at the lower price with the prospect of warrant coverage too -- a much more attractive risk-reward.

As I previously wrote in my "With the FDA, It's Good, Better, Best for PV-10 and $PVCT," the closer you are to the company, the greater your awareness of Provectus' situation, the higher expectations or anticipation you have of an SPA, BTD or AA. The less familiar you are with the company or situation, the lower your level of expectations. The FDA's decision will validate Provectus and PV-10 in some form and fashion.

The above mentioned fund has done due diligence, but doesn't have the perspective Provectus watchers do. The fund, like its sistren and brethren, invests broadly across a variety of companies, diversifies risk, plays the numbers, is not early, and endeavors to generate alpha (which for the vast majority of such funds merely and actually is beta).

Provectus watchers would tell you they believe the situation now is an outcome between "better" and "best." The consensus view appears to be the company already has submitted a/the BTD application. Opinions vary as to when, from early-May to early-June, which would indicate a result as late as early-August (perhaps early-September if one leaves room for summer vacation and/or the dog days of summer) and as early as "now."

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An e-mail from a blog reader:
My PVCT buddies and I have long since learned to take your predictions with a handful of salt BUT - we're sure going to be prepared when that Great Day finally arrives and it will be because you have prepared us so well in advance. I don't think I need to tell you how very much I appreciate all that you put into the Blog. Reading it every day has made hanging on to this losing position this past year and a half almost a pleasure.
Yes, the forecast is always wrong, but I love receiving e-mails like this. Thank you.

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