You’ll find some of the most influential figures in modern healthcare in San Francisco today, gathered together for the 25th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. This year, 6500 people are attending, including CNBC’s Mike Huckman who is sifting through volumes of data. In a "First on CNBC," Huckman spoke with James Sabry, M.D./Ph. D., the CEO of Cytokinetics. Interest in this company skyrocketed this week, when it struck a deal with Amgen worth $600 million.
Huckman asked--"Why did you partner with Amgen, a big biotech company?"
Sabry replied, "Amgen is a great company. They share our passion for new product and innovation. We respect each other’s science and medicine. They are passionate about furthering this drug (for congestive heart failure) into later stages of development."
Huckman also asked about the problems Cytokeinetics faced with GlaxoSmithKline over a partnership for cancer drugs.
Sabry replied that, "Our relationship with GlaxoSmithKline continues. It’s focused on one cancer target and specific drug. GSK continues to maintain a potential license to that product. In many ways these two deals are in line with one another and reflect the growth of Cytokinetics as an early stage development company."
Huckman went on: "Congestive heart failure affect 5 million Americans – could investors see mid stage test results by end of year?"
Sabry: "Yes. We have encouraging results from early stage testing, and over 2007 and early 2008 we should have data that shows the drug is active in patients with heart failure."
Huckman: "Why did you sell shares last week?
Sabry: "That was a preprogrammed trade that was in place some time ago."