There was a time when just about no one was as bullish about Zalicus (ZLCS) as I was. I was excited about the ion channel program, the partnership with Novartis (NYSE:NVS), and the discoveries of their proprietary cHTS-Chalice program. In those days, I saw Zalicus soaring to $50/share and many investors have since reminded me of that enthusiasm.
But time and experience changes an investor. You begin to see what for whatever reason you didn't see before. You swallow hard when you realize that the Novartis collaboration is on the home stretch and not one discovery has been advanced into phase I; you choke back emotions when you realize that the new CEO Mark Corrigan after three years is yet to deliver a SEC new partnership event. You take a deep breath when you realize that the founder's (Alexis Borisy) internal pipeline of then CombinatoRx is one hundred percent gone; only Prednisporin with Sanofi (NYSE:SNY) survives, but that program is on the sale block as Sanofi has no intention of moving it forward. Then there's Exalgo, but what does that mean when Covidien (COV) tells the investment community it plans to severe all ties to Exalgo in a spin-off firm? Does that lend confidence?
It's time... no, it's overdue for CEO Mark H. N. Corrigan to step behind the microphone to tell investors the outcome of Z944's phase I multiple dose clinical trial. Nothing is more disturbing to me than a CEO who is with-holding critical information from shareholders. 'Cut the crap' about talking to the FDA and simply address your shareholders. WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO Z944? In the single dose study Zalicus reported that it was "generally safe and tolerable," but what about at the end of the multi-dose phase I study? Is not Zalicus obligated to report this material event? I think that they are and it is frustrating to then read that the company's two top-level executives have been granted an extended separation package in light of the silence from the firm.
Z160 may be a Terrance Preston Snutch trophy, but why is Zalicus not reporting on its collaboration for the Z212 line that it dropped like a hot potato or its silence about Z944? Where is news from Hydra Biosciences on the sodium channel ion pain relievers?
I raise these questions because there's a time when management needs to step up to the microphone and answer shareholders questions. 2013 is not looking good for Zalicus and a reverse split is just about two months away. It's time someone become the activist and calls the Zalicus management team to answer its shareholders. At the present time, I cannot endorse buying Zalicus shares until the management team answers the questions investors are asking.
Disclosure: I am long CVM, CLSN, QCOR, ATRS. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
Additional disclosure: I do not own Zalicus shares. Investors buy and/or sell at their own risk. You are warned not to use this article for individual investment advice. You are warned that you could lose your entire investment by trading in the stock market. This article is for entertainment purposes only. For me 'long' is until I sell. I do not 'short' stocks. I declare that I may trade (buy and/or sell) any stock at any time mentioned in this article.