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Another Solyndra? LA Times reports the Obama administration has been pushing a $433M plan...

Another Solyndra? LA Times reports the Obama administration has been pushing a $433M plan to buy Siga Technologies' (SIGA -9.1%) experimental smallpox drug, despite uncertainty over whether it is needed or will work at all. Siga, whose controlling shareholder is top Obama donor Ronald Perelman, was awarded a contract in May in a no-bid deal after the government's lead negotiator was replaced.
Comments (17)
  • Conventional Wisdumb
    , contributor
    Comments (1802) | Send Message
     
    The LATimes isn't your typical right wing hack periodical so this is unbelievable:

     

    http://lat.ms/vJLvUP
    "Senior officials have taken unusual steps to secure the contract for New York-based Siga Technologies Inc., whose controlling shareholder is billionaire Ronald O. Perelman, one of the world's richest men and a longtime Democratic Party donor.

     

    When Siga complained that contracting specialists at the Department of Health and Human Services were resisting the company's financial demands, senior officials replaced the government's lead negotiator for the deal, interviews and documents show.

     

    When Siga was in danger of losing its grip on the contract a year ago, the officials blocked other firms from competing.

     

    Siga was awarded the final contract in May through a "sole-source" procurement in which it was the only company asked to submit a proposal. The contract calls for Siga to deliver 1.7 million doses of the drug for the nation's biodefense stockpile. The price of approximately $255 per dose is well above what the government's specialists had earlier said was reasonable, according to internal documents and interviews."

     

    Now that's an amazing return on investment for your political contribution.

     

    Change you can believe in?

     

    NOBAMA 2012!
    14 Nov 2011, 01:49 PM Reply Like
  • Poor Texan
    , contributor
    Comments (3533) | Send Message
     
    I guess the democrats either feel very secure that they can rip off the country with impunity or are rushing to get it done before they are booted out.
    14 Nov 2011, 01:54 PM Reply Like
  • Lakeaffect
    , contributor
    Comments (1137) | Send Message
     
    Crony capitalism has gotten so blatent and the populace feels totally powerless to stop it. The politicians, bureaucrats and business people playing this game are romping all over any standards of transparency or responsibility toward the taxpayer. It's like watching Hugo Chavez take over Venezuela.

     

    Just wait until you see what the Super Committee has in store for us.
    14 Nov 2011, 02:00 PM Reply Like
  • davidbdc
    , contributor
    Comments (3181) | Send Message
     
    Good grief. Russian oligarch's don't have it so good.

     

    I guess the $225/dose price is ok because $50 of it is targetted for Democratic contributions for 2012 elections.

     

    Corruption is growing in this country and its really a shame. The triumvirate of the public unions, politicians, and the financial elite have seized the power and are systemically looting the USA.
    14 Nov 2011, 03:43 PM Reply Like
  • DianeLee
    , contributor
    Comments (360) | Send Message
     
    At least one of the pharmaceutical companies in competition at the time was PIP (Pharmathene) when Siga was awarded the no-bid contract. Having 1,000 shares of PIP, guess how happy I was.
    14 Nov 2011, 04:18 PM Reply Like
  • Balderdash
    , contributor
    Comments (101) | Send Message
     
    This is insane. It's a hit job and a poor one at that. SIGA had passed all the milestones. The nearest competitor was years away. BARDA's mission was to secure this sort of thing. PIP wasn't in competition at all, there was a failed merger agreement between them and SIGA.

     

    Go ask your doctor how much the standard flu shot is (at the doctor). Probably > $80. Some cancer treatments are $10,000+ per dose. If you get smallpox, it's peanuts. Lots of R&D. Very interesting science.

     

    And SIGA doesn't have 500 employees. Not even close. They have an investor-investee relationship w/ Ron Perleman, who has more than 500 employees. Thus the SBA complaint.

     

    This sort of crappy journalism hurts everybody.
    14 Nov 2011, 07:01 PM Reply Like
  • DianeLee
    , contributor
    Comments (360) | Send Message
     
    Balderdash, holding 1000 shares of PIP at the time, I followed the award ... and the lawsuit....quite carefully. Did you? Because PIP was awarded damages. But the main point of the article is that Ron Perleman is a major donor of Barack Obama and SIGA was awarded a "no bid" contract. Not being an isolated case, a definite pattern has emerged.
    14 Nov 2011, 08:18 PM Reply Like
  • Balderdash
    , contributor
    Comments (101) | Send Message
     
    The governemnt has been funding SIGA's reserach for years, way before Obama. They simply had the only product that meets the specifications.

     

    I'll bet you $100 that Obama doesn't even known what SIGA is.
    15 Nov 2011, 08:55 AM Reply Like
  • DianeLee
    , contributor
    Comments (360) | Send Message
     
    Obama campaigned on changes. Whether he personally knew it or not, there is a pattern, considering Solyndra, business dealings involved with George Soros, etc. If he doesn't recognize the pattern, he certainly should, and correct his staff. This Adm apparently has an implicit 'green light' and here I also refer to NLRB-Boeing action. Done debating this point with anybody willfully blinded to the policy.
    15 Nov 2011, 10:11 AM Reply Like
  • Balderdash
    , contributor
    Comments (101) | Send Message
     
    I totally agree with you vis a vis Solyndra. This was a loan to a company that gov't insiders knew was going BK. SIGA, IMHO, played by the rules. They did the science. They proved the efficacy as well as was required with animal studies. They had the only product. The only question was price. Now, since there isn't a huge market for antiviral smallpox treatments, one can debate how much the profit should be. It is, of course, in the public's best interest to have competitive bidding to make sure the taxpayer isn't gouged. But Chimerix's product didn't pass the tests, and PIP didn't have a smallpox product. So SIGA was the only game in town.
    So the Obama admin has a fiduciary duty to the taxpayer to obtain the treatment for as little as possible, while SIGA has the duty to the shareholders to get a return on their investment. I think 100, 200, 300$ per dose SOUNDS reasonable, given the cost of development and relative to other niche drugs. And it's not like SIGA has a pie in the sky product, it's there, and tangible, and meets all of BARDA's requirements.

     

    I suppose if conflict of interest were a problem,
    1. the government shouldn't have unconditionally funded the research in the first place. getting the drug at cost should have been a condition for research funding. 2. the governemnt should have thrown the research money at universities/government labs and tried to develop it in-house 3. the government should have pre-specified what it was willing to pay per-dose way before hand, and let business take the risk that they may not be able to sell at that price level
    So my point is, in a longwinded and haphazard way, that unlike Solyndra, the 'problem' with SIGA is one of a bumbling government providing twisted incetives and setting itself up for conflict of interest.
    15 Nov 2011, 09:37 PM Reply Like
  • DianeLee
    , contributor
    Comments (360) | Send Message
     
    Good analysis, Balderdash, and the only point where we still differ is re Pharmathene. Just to check my memory, I did check some history, and found an AP article, dated Sep 22, 2011, titled "PharmAthene shares rocket on court ruling," including "PharmAthene filed the lawsuit against SIGA in December 2006 citing PharmAthene's interest in ST-246, an orally available smallpox antiviral drug candidate" and "."The Court's decision in favor of PharmAthene found that SIGA is liable to PharmAthene for breach of SIGA's contractual obligations to negotiate an exclusive license agreement to ST-246 in good faith."
    16 Nov 2011, 03:32 AM Reply Like
  • Balderdash
    , contributor
    Comments (101) | Send Message
     
    That's right, there was a failed merger agreement with PIP in '06. PIP wasn't a competitor, they loaned SIGA a couple million bucks for development of ST246 to get through a rough patch. At that time, they entered into talks about a merger that SIGA broke off. Under the proposed merger, PIP would bring the drug to market after SIGA did the research. Although SIGA paid back the loan, the 'whacktivist' judge decided that they negotiated the merger in bad faith and awarded PIP 50% of the proceeds for doing absolutely nothing (except suing).

     

    In any case, PIP didn't have a competitive product with SIGA, the reasons for being tied up w/ SIGA were totally different. No product that PIP had was in contest for a BARDA award.

     

    Thanks for the discussion!
    16 Nov 2011, 05:02 AM Reply Like
  • DianeLee
    , contributor
    Comments (360) | Send Message
     
    Balderdash, you remind me of a bulldog, meant in the kindest way. The phrase "breach of SIGA's contractual obligations to negotiate an exclusive license agreement to ST-246 in good faith" seems clear to me. You have a right to disagree with the judge, only a legal opinion. PIP also has researched Anthrax vaccine and several other biodefense agents, if you care to read the PIP profile. Their labs are active and several Govt agencies are listed as customers. SIGA appears to be in the questionabe position. Moving on.
    16 Nov 2011, 10:41 AM Reply Like
  • Balderdash
    , contributor
    Comments (101) | Send Message
     
    the anthrax vaccine has nothing to do with SIGA, or PIP's involvement with the smallpox drug. It was SIGA's drug and the judge gave its revenue stream away to PIP for nothing. That doesn't make PIP a contender for the BARDA award.
    16 Nov 2011, 11:52 AM Reply Like
  • DianeLee
    , contributor
    Comments (360) | Send Message
     
    Didn't say it did, and the comment was only to demonstrate active labs at PIP. All right, Balderdash, I've read your opinions. Bring research, as I'm no longer interested in repetitions of negative ("nothing") opinions. Data required.
    16 Nov 2011, 12:01 PM Reply Like
  • Balderdash
    , contributor
    Comments (101) | Send Message
     
    What Research???! You state

     

    "At least one of the pharmaceutical companies in competition at the time was PIP (Pharmathene) when Siga was awarded the no-bid contract."

     

    My ONLY point was that at the time, PIP was not in competition for the smallpox BARDA money because they were not working on a smallpox antiviral. They were working on suing SIGA.

     

    QED.
    16 Nov 2011, 12:11 PM Reply Like
  • TomHockey
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    The sorry thing...is PIP and SIGA have both tanked...I considered buying into PIP....as they would work out an agreement....never did buy PIP...and have seen my 300% SIGA return evaporate....now mentioned as takeover. But I agree with Balderdash....but I own SIGA. PIP was not in competition....with SIGA, and they should have negotiated vs allowing a wingnut judge make such a poor judgement. All the political connections, D. Issa(R)/Chimerix and lobby firm McKenna, Long, and Aldrigde (MKA) tie-up and others...60 minutes exposed it all...Congress is crooked...PIP should have kept away...heck, SIGA down 80%, and PIP, 70%...SHAME
    22 Nov 2011, 11:16 PM Reply Like
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