Ebb & Flow

Despite all the attention given to Reg FD and other transparency issues, investors still have to work for a living, as thorough reads of 10-Qs and other SEC filings show that nuggets of consequential information still can be almost hidden away in the regulatory paperwork.

Along those lines, embattled ImClone (IMCL) filed its 10-Q last Thursday, and it was not a disappointing read. Among the more interesting items is the company's disclosure that its $293 million in cash at Sept. 30 could run out by the end of next year. IMCL posted an operating loss of $113.5 million in the first nine months.

For those with short memories, the disclosure should invoke reminders that IMCL forsook the opportunity to put $1 billion in its coffers in its original deal for Erbitux with Bristol-Myers (BMY). Instead of issuing treasury shares and raising the money for the company, IMCL decided to give the money to its shareholders - including management and board members - through a tender offer of already issued shares.

In its forward look, IMCL did exclude certain committed payments and reimbursements due next year. The '03 monies due to IMCL include a $60 million payment from BMY due on March 5, the one-year anniversary of the partners' amended Erbitux agreement.

IMCL also is eligible to receive a $250 million milestone from BMY upon FDA approval of Erbitux, but that is unlikely to happen next year. In October, the companies announced plans for two Phase III studies of the anti-EGFR antibody as second-line therapy in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. The BLA for the compound received a refusal-to-file letter from the FDA last December.

According to the filing, other potential inflows to IMCL include $25 million in equity-based milestones from its Erbitux agreement with Merck KGaA and up

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