- PR confirming at least 190 PFS events from HEAT trial --> triggers interim analysis
- My guess is this happens very soon, by end of August or early September.
- In my opinion, a decision to move Thermodox as earlier line therapy, which the company has clearly alluded to, could be pretty significant.
- I recall the company mentioning, along with Philips, they have another meeting with the FDA in September to submit some additional data. Note that Philips' Sonalleve MRI-HIFU device is not yet approved in the US, so that will probably have its own 510k/PMA device application as well, though they are collectively being regulated as a drug-device combination.
- This is obviously the catalyst many investors are thinking about, and rightfully so. At this point, with a chance for futility being "de minimis" to quote the CEO, I think we can safely assume we are looking at either a continuation to 380 events, or overwhelming efficacy sufficient to justify an early NDA. While the study was designed for the former and that is clearly the likely outcome, speculation is all over the place. I personally give an overwhelming efficacy outcome a likelihood of 20%. If the study continues to 380 events, in all likelihood, top-line results would be out 1 year from now. As another reminder, there will not be actual data revealed if the DMC recommends a continuation to 380 events, so investors need to keep that in mind.
- Similar to the HEAT trial enrollment which has lagged behind company estimates for some time, so has the elusive second deal. As a reminder, the company is 100% committed to licensing Thermodox out to a major pharma partner for ex-US geographies, but Celsion is likely considering "going it alone" in the US based on prior statements. Either way, the partner, deal terms, affected geographies, etc., could be game changing for the company. As a reminder, when asked during a cc why this second deal has taken so long, the CEO stated that they are confident a deal will be made following the interim analysis. Outside of a trial halt for early efficacy, a second deal with good terms is probably the biggest catalyst for the company. A fellow poster on the yahoo mb ("Celsiodaat") and knowledgeable investor has insisted for a very long time now the potential partner could be Merck. I happen to strongly agree with that pick for a variety of reasons, not the least of which includes the fact that up until 2010, Merck had international rights to J&J's non-heat sensitive liposomal doxorubicin (Doxil, marketed outside the US in most countries as Caelyx). Between J&J and Merck, Doxil was/is $600-$700M drug.
Yep, there are a lot of things happening outside of just the interim analysis. As a shareholder, I am quite excited at what lies ahead. As always, feel free to leave comments or ask any questions.