Carlton A. writes, "Is Micromet ( MITI) the next antibody company to be bought out now that Bristol-Myers Squibb ( BMY) bought Medarex ( MEDX)?" I received a bunch of emails similar to this one right after Bristol announced its $2.1 billion acquisition of Medarex on July 23. The thinking goes something like this: Companies like Medarex and Micromet that possess biologic antibody technology are in short supply and in demand by larger drug companies. With Medarex now spoken for, it's more likely that a Bristol competitor makes a takeout play for Micromet. Sure enough, Micromet's stock price moved slightly higher on the speculation and the company used the new investor interest to raise $70 million in a follow-on stock offering priced Wednesday night. I don't know if Micromet is, or is not, an imminent takeover candidate. The company owns a novel and interesting antibody technology platform. I wrote about interim data from a phase II study of the company's lead drug blinatumomab in June. Last March, AstraZeneca ( AZN) returned North American rights for blinatumomab to Micromet, although AstraZeneca continued to manufacture the drug for Microment and retained a one-time option to reacquire rights to the drug upon its first regulatory approval. However, Micromet is reportedly buying back AstraZeneca's remaining option on blinatumomab for $6 million, according to an investor who was briefed by Micromet during meetings this week tied to the follow-on offering. Furthermore, AstraZeneca will no longer manufacture the drug for Micromet, which is now contemplating plans to build its own facility to make the drug.
A correction and further comment: When I filmed this week's video on Biocryst Pharmaceuticals ( BCRX), I inadvertently described the company's flu drug as a vaccine. Peramivir is an antiviral used to treat patients infected with the flu virus; it is not a vaccine used to protect people from getting infected in the first place.
Dave emails to add something I missed in my column this week discussing the recent weakness in BioDelivery Sciences ( BDSI) and its cancer pain drug Onsolis. "Keep in mind that you failed to turn up that one of the reasons for the sell off since June 15th is that Elliott Associates, which had 3.2 million shares have decided to sell down their stake," writes Dave. "They have done this bit by bit over five and half week now, and as of last week only had 265,000 shares left."
Last, I was pleasantly surprised to hear from "Big % Gains Ltd." last week after my discussion of Cell Therapeutics' ( CTIC) recent fund-raising effort. "Today you were fair and balanced. That's all I ask." A Cell Therapeutics' investor is happy with me? We live in strange times, indeed! -- Reported by Adam Feuerstein in Boston