Various subjects on Antares (AIS) require immediate comment this week:
I. VIBEX QS
A patent published last week signals that Antares is one step closer to announcing its first "QS" project. The next patent should name the specific medicament to provide IP and future market protection going forward. It is thought that Antares will use early clinical data as the basis for the impending patent filing.
II. VIBEX Epinephrine
In my opinion of the information made available to me to read, and having studied last week's court documents and going back in time, the joined forces of TEVA-Intelliject (TEVA) in their defense against King-Meridian bodes well for Antares. TEVA-Intelliject have succeeded in having patent '012' thrown out of the court case leaving the '432' patent.
However the King-Meridian '432' patent has also come under fire. According to what I've read, Intelliject has argued (see page 47, line #114) that the FDA Orange Book requires the medicament to be listed in the patent, and for some reason, it isn't -- implying, it should never have been accepted into the Orange Book in the first place. But more importantly, it looks like the inventors of the '432' have come under fire for not disclosing earlier patents that list their own names as the inventors. TEVA-Intelliject lawyers have jumped on this information and the court judge has told TEVA to have at it with the inventor(s) required to appear come the late February trial date extended into early March.
In my opinion, King-Meridian's case appears to be crumbling and it is very possible that the case may never come to trial, and that King-Meridian may be held liable for purposely delaying Intelliject and TEVA. This, of course, is all expressed as 'in my opinion', but it is my opinion that TEVA-Intelliject appears to have the upper-hand.
Keep watch on a key conference being shared by the Population Council and Antares coming up in February. Antares VP of Business Development Handa will share the discussion of "Partner Selection for Facilitating Product Development and Maximizing Commercial Returns" with the Population Council among others. Celgene (CELG) will participate in this discussion which I find most curious.
The surprise partnership with Pfizer (PFE) is yet to be priced into the current PPS. One could argue the same could be said for Anturol's success. Clearly LibiGel threw a monkey wrench into the otherwise positive PPS. Nevertheless, the Pfizer deal signaled the company's serious commitment to market expansion. Two opportunities come to mind: Anturol's expansion into the global market beyond Watson (WPI) and down the road, VIBEX MTX expansion where an Australian validates like Europe and Japan, Antares is serious about gaining a global footprint for VIBEX MTX.
Investors should expect more partnership news in 2012.
2012 could mark the serious uptick of Antares into the biosimilars market. With HGH Tev-Tropin on the top tier of TEVA's biosimilar game plan, there is serious reason to think that Antares, once it secures the VIBEX QS technology, will begin to expand its pipeline into other biosimilars. There are some very exciting possibilities among them Neutroval, Neugranin, DiaPep277, Sumatriptan, and a myriad of others in this multi-billion dollar market. I maintain the VIBEX QS will be a major player in this area with its "Quickshot" pain-free delivery system ~ 3 seconds under pressure ranges offering advance syringe safety profiles. I also continue to follow any leads for Lovenox and Copaxone and recently added Atropine to my watch list of drugs.
Finally, I continue to look forward to Antares's net positive future that I maintain should come to fruition in 2012. I think this will propel the company's share price to the $4-6/share by year-end.