Pharmion Stock Price Sees Significant Increase: Will This Trend Continue?

| About: Pharmion Corp. (PHRM)

Pharmion’s (PHRM) stock price has moved from a close of $18.22 on September 1, 2006 to close on January 23, 2007 at $30, a 60% increase over the period. The stock price is still well short of its high of $58 on September 24, 2004, the highest the stock had risen since its IPO in November 2003.

It moved up over 2% during the day on January 23, on news that it had submitted a European Marketing Authorization Application [EMAA] for Thalidomide Pharmion® for untreated Multiple Myeloma (NYSE:MM). Currently Thalidomide is being sold in the US by Celgene. In May 2006, Thalomid® (thalidomide) was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration [FDA] in combination with dexamethasone for the treatment of newly diagnosed MM. The Company holds exclusive marketing and distribution rights from Celgene Corporation for Thalidomide in markets outside of North America, Japan and certain other Asian countries. In markets where Thalidomide Pharmion is not approved, such as the E.U., Thalidomide Pharmion is currently provided on a named patient/compassionate use or temporary basis.

In early January the Company announced significant strategic objectives for 2007:

  • The filing just announced
  • The filing in Europe for Satraplatin for hormone refractory prostate cancer (HRPC)
  • The filing in Europe for Vidaza for the treatment of high-risk myelodysplastic syndromes [MDS]
  • Data from the randomized controlled Phase 3 survival study for Vidaza in high-risk MDS, which is expected to be complete in the third quarter of 2007
  • Phase 3 Satraplatin survival data in HRPC
  • Phase 2 Amrubicin data in small cell lung cancer [SCLC]
  • Oral Vidaza bioavailability data
  • Phase 2 MGCD0103 data in a variety of indications
  • Initiation of a pivotal registration trial for MGCD0103 in a hematologic malignancy
  • Initiation of a pivotal registration trial for Amrubicin in second-line SCLC
  • A number of these events will have been made possible by strategic deals entered into in 2006 which have affected the expense profile of the company without adding product revenues in the short term. However, we believe they were good strategic moves which will add significant value in the future and in the shorter term add a broad number of stock catalysts to the 2007 calendar.

    The Company purchased Cabrellis Pharmaceuticals in Q3 2006 gaining rights to Amrubicin for North America and the European Union. Amrubicin has been approved and marketed in Japan for lung cancer. In January, 2006, PHRM obtained rights to a suite of molecules, including MGCD0103, through a license and collaboration agreement with MethylGene.

    At these stock prices the valuation is high for a Company which will not make a profit over the next two years. However, longer term this is a great biopharmaceutical story. With achievement of a number of the Company objectives in 2007, the stock could see even higher levels during the year.

    PHRM 1-yr chart

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