Thursday, June 12, 2014

June 12, 2014 Novavax Shareholders meeting

For reactions from last years meeting see here:

Comments from someone else that published them online:

Take aways from the shareholders' meeting
Hi folks. These are from my notes taken during the shareholders' meeting. Unfortunately, I arrive a little late and missed the first 40 minutes, but here are my basic observations:
1) Erck noted the desire to stay independent and promote steady development.
2) There was some discussion of hiring in some people to manage distribution issues in the future. Erck noted that the CDC and ASIC often support some contracting facilitation (I think this is what this amounted to) to promote distribution in the future. No need for a large in-house salesforce (at least not yet).
3) MERS was discussed, the publication regarding NVAX data published (as is known) and simply noted the company's ability to produce, quickly, a viable vaccine candidate.
4) 10 milestone development projects were displayed involving various vaccine indications and there timetables for phase study results. Erck noted that the strategy was to seek earlier approvals via acceleration of development and phase study results.
5) They plan on hiring a Director of Investor Relations and adding 'manufacturing associates' who can management, direct, research manufacturing capabilities. Quality control and Quality assurance specialists may also be sought.
6) The maintain a mix of Intellectual property including patents and trade-secrets. Erck also noted the high barriers to entry in this field.
7) Mention of either on-going or prospective trials in India --- data to be reported in the near future. Some possibility of a MERS manufacturing capability in India could also be envisioned.

Wish I had gotten there earlier --- evidently some discussion of the dilution occurred. Was surprised that only 24 people were in the room. The meeting was then followed by a directors' meeting. Wish I was a fly on the wall at that point.

Erck struck me as very knowledgeable, capable and reasonable person with a reasonable view to the future. Less

Now for my thoughts

Wow what a change from last year. I am not sure the time of day that I had driven around the two campuses last year but this year I saw a lot more cars around 0900 compared to what I saw last year. At the campus where the meeting was held I saw stereotypical lab looking folks coming to work. During the meeting they were making a lot of noise upstairs working on building out additional lab space. Outside the meeting there was a room with Dr Glenn seeming to have some kind of a meeting.

ACIP drives recommendations for vaccinations. They are putting in the networking such that ACIP will suggest RSV vaccine should it be approved. This would eliminate a lot of salesforce development concerns, otherwise they could find some willing partners established in the business. It sounds like they are putting in the PR related staff needed to move forward.

Cash runway confident through 2016 with additional funded trials. 10% dilution at most needed for further trials.

Current employees are working at what needs to be done to grow Novavax. They have reached "critical mass". More people being hired and interviewed.

RSV stage 3 trials maybe 2015. Businessman and lawyer holding CEO back from pushing too much too soon. Lawyer looked anxious.

Staying it alone allows them to move faster.

India holds additional GMP manufacturing should US not be able to handle anything in future. Rabies and two other stage one trials underway. Indian FDA tougher than US.

BARDA approached Erck to talk about MERS. They "cloned" the MERS virus to work on it in the lab.

Journal of Vaccines mentioned. I need to read it.

They have a "critical mass" of staff.

In my opinion, having Ernst and Young adds legitimacy.

They have 2 (maybe 3) GMP labs.

Genocea partnership for HSV using Matrix M from Iscanova. Some revenue flow possible.

Growth comps mentioned from previous companies others worked for in the past were 15B market cap and 22B market cap. Someone asked to justify additional stock purchases. Erck rightly said determine future value, subtract for years to get there along along with theta to arrive at current pricing. So my simple math says 15 x current price minimum is there thought, so 15 x $4 = $60 future share price. Subtract 20 % for four years to get there for my back of cuff valuation is $24.57 now. As each trial gets done, the confidence in these numbers grows.

Novavax is set in the heart of Biotech pharmaceuticals on the east coast. They are a real company, have leadership doing what needs to be done to get RSV and other vaccines to market.

1 comment: