A little more than 24 hours after announcing its big, lucrative Alzheimer's drug partnership with Pfizer, Medivationhad the lead-off position (I wonder if they told organizers they'd be a newsmaker) at today's BioCentury/Thomson Reuters biotech investment conference in New York City.
MDVN CEO Dr. David Hung did the honors before a crowd of around 100. It was not standing room only, but close. (Some investors measure Wall Street interest in a company/stock by attendance at events like this.)
Dr. Hung already had a colorful, fully-produced PowerPoint slide detailing the deal toward the top of his presentation. One column was titled "Pfizer Powerhouse", referring to the company's Alzheimer's drug know-how and its wide-reaching sales force.
Most of the stuff in his formal remarks was rehash, but in the breakout session that followed (that's where attendees throw questions at executives from presenting companies) a MDVN exec provided an interesting peak behind the corporate due diligence curtain.
He said that PFEhad a team of 25 people looking at the drug for about six months. The vetting, he said, "was as thorough as it gets." PFE even sent people to Russia where Alzheimer's tests were being done because the drug, called Dimebon, is an old antihistamine in that country.
Dr. Hung said he likes "to discover diamonds in the rough" like Dimebon and that it took him about two years to find it. "We probably say 'no' to more than 99 percent of (the drugs) we see," he said.
The breakout session, by the way, was standing room only.
And a disclosure: GE Healthcare, part of CNBC's parent company, is one of the sponsors of this conference.
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