How did experimental Canadian Ebola vaccine wind up in Iowa?

1 response

  1. Stefano says:

    Some things to note about NLNK:

    – The market cap of NLNK ($650 mil) is slightly greater than TKMR ($600 mil) with the latter being the largest development-stage Canadian biotech listed on the TSX (NB: TKMR is working on a treatment for Ebola based on their platform RNA interference technology. The project is sponsored by the US Department of Defense, which contributed $140 million)

    – Although NLNK has not yet brought a product to market, they have three immunotherapy assets in various stages of pivotal trials – certainly not a trivial feat

    – The IMPRESS trial for NLNK’s lead asset is expected to conclude in Jan 2015 with top line results expected sometime thereafter. It is very rare for a development-stage biotech to raise money in advance of a catalyst, else they signal to the market that the results are negative and ruin their credibility. $80 mil and two years of runway is a lot in biotech. By comparison, Immunovaccine (IMV), which is Canada’s largest public immunotherapy company, has a market cap of $80 mil

    Considering this, it is difficult to fault the National Microbiology Lab for out-licensing to NLNK. The “answer” was that NLNK proposed a sizable upfront and milestone payment schedule, and flashed their clinical development expertise, which certainly no other Canadian biotech could come close to matching. But, I would rather this life-saving technology be developed somewhere than not developed at all

    Finally, with regards to your comment about commercializing Canadian life sciences research, we are saddled with a history of failures (i.e. Angiotech, Resverlogix, YM, Z-Tech, etc, etc) that resulted in both an exodus of capital and talent. Government support is great, but the only way to reverse course is to start producing returns and winners. I am one of the proud few that works in early-stage Canadian biotech, and I am confident that we are headed in the right direction – better to be years early than months late

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