Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Denosumab: Let's Make a (Hypothetical) Deal

Not too long ago, the idea that a top-ten biopharmaceutical company would out-license a potential blockbuster project was way out in left field. Not so much anymore.

Deutsche Bank analyst Mark Schoenebaum notes in a recent report to clients that Amgen stock has been on an upswing for the past few weeks, and rhetorically asks why. A major reason, says Schoenebaum, is that Amgen is saying it will likely partner its Phase III denosumab (d-mab, for the nickname inclined) in postmenopausal osteoporosis (PMO) instead of building its own 2000-strong field force to sell the product, should it get approved.

If you'll allow us to grab our plaid jacket and dust off our best Monty Hall impersonation, we'd like to take the scenario a step further. If Amgen wants to offload d-mab--what's the drug going to be worth to a partner? Should it partner a significant piece, like the PMO indication, or 50% of the entire package (d-mab is being investigated in preventing 'skeletal related events' in patients with breast and prostate cancers and a variety of other tumors--on Monday the company released positive top line data from one Phase III study, for example). What is the ideal scenario for Amgen?

You, dear readers, are the experts here. And so we turn to you. We're even going to give you the tool necessary to come up with your own NPV estimates: the profile of denosumab from Elsevier's Inteleos database. Click the link to access the free PDF, dig around, and leave your estimates in the comments ...

Come on, people. Let's make a deal.

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