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Wyeth & Elan: Controlling The Countdown

I'm at the International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease--aka ICAD--in Chicago where we're waiting for the highly anticipated detailed test results on the promising experimental drug from Wyeth and Elan.

I've covered several scientific conferences here at the McCormick Place Convention Center--a few ASCOs, ADA, ACC, etc.--but ICAD is definitely the smallest of them all.

They say there are around 5,000 people here, but in parts of this massive, sprawling facility the place looks nearly empty. The other conferences draw upwards of 25,000. But the size of the crowd is not indicative of the level of importance of the data being presented here.

The Alzheimer's Association, which puts on ICAD, was hoping to unveil the WYE/ELN study at one of its media briefings that feature prominent data. But the main one today occurs at 1:30 ET. And that would have meant the Wyeth/Elan results would hit the tape in the middle of the trading day.

A spokesperson for ELN says the data are too complicated to risk putting them out there during trading hours. So, the companies or their researchers will not be apart of any press conference here.

Instead, they will release the data when the lead clinical trial investigator begins his formal presentation here at 5 pm ET today. Then, an hour later they will hold a conference call/webcast for analysts and investors. That will allow the Street to digest and analyze the data before regular trading resumes tomorrow.

You can catch the breaking news on CNBC's "Fast Money" right at 5 ET today. And don't miss the First on CNBC interview with Elan CEO Kelly Martin tomorrow morning on "Squawk on the Street" around 9:40 am ET.

Questions? Comments? Pharma@cnbc.com