Amarin announced today that it has obtained $100 Million non-equity financing and will be hiring a sales force to help commercially launch Vascepa for its initial indication, the MARINE indication, in the early part of 1Q2013 while continuing to assess strategic alternatives. So does this mean Amarin is going-it-alone (GIA), or is this just Amarin Chairman & CEO Joe Zakrzewski playing hardball in prospective buyout talks by letting big pharma know that he will launch Vascepa himself if any take out price offered is not sweet enough? Vascepa and its NCE (new chemical entity) decision delay by the FDA has obviously complicated any buyout or partnership talks. Hopefully this December 14th which is the estimated next FDA Orange Book update will shine some clarity on the NCE debate.
Joe Z. on today’s conference call has stressed that negotiations with interested parties are still under way and that anyone who believes that on-going discussions are off is dead wrong. And with the $100 Million financing that can be prepaid with no penalties point to an imminent buyout of AMRN soon? Is Joe playing with us? My belief is follow the money. Joe Z and other AMRN board members have so much invested in AMRN stock and options that it only makes sense management is aligned with equity holders. Joe successfully negotiated the buyout of Lovaza to GlaxoSmithKline back in December of 2007 for $1.65 Billion. Will he be able to do the same for Vascepa?
Please also keep in mind that it has not even been 4 months since FDA approval of Vascepa! Buyouts take time and in my opinion, Amarin shareholders will have a day in the sunshine soon! The longer big pharma waits, the more they will have to pay for Amarin as ANCHOR indications and ANCHOR patents are shoring up strong giving Vascepa a ten-fold greater targeted untapped market to conquer (200-500 triglycerides patient population which is 10x the MARINE indication). One important business development that I must mention here is that the ever more important ANCHOR patent 13/272520 just got granted ‘Reasons for Allowance’ by the USPTO today after the market close. This signals that the patent is virtually in the bag which just increased the valuation of the company immensely.
Amarin will be bought out soon. The question is HOW MUCH?