Yesterday I hosted a conference call with ProMIS Neurosciences (PMN.TO). Joining me were Gene Williams (Executive Chairman) and Elliot Goldstein (CEO/President), in addition to roughly 40 other current or potential investors from the USA, Canada, and several European countries. It was by happenstance that yesterday morning the company released a very material press release announcing that multiple unique therapeutic candidates have successfully completed the screening stage of validation and will be further developed as potential treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. So, there were lots of great things to discuss and Gene and Elliot could not have been more generous with the time that they spent with us.
A quick note on how I like to treat investor call recaps. I treat the hour or so that we are able to speak with a CEO or management as pretty sacred time; these folks are trying to run a business and, speaking from experience, taking an hour or more out of the day can become a burdensome thing to do. I never record the calls and the recaps will always be high level and never granular, no matter how much "in the weeds" we get on the call. I do this to encourage openness on the call, and to build trust between myself and the management team.
The high level overview that follows will make more sense if you have read my initial investment thesis.
One of the big takeaways from the call, in my opinion, are the number of catalysts that are potentially upcoming. A significant amount of time on the call was devoted to Gene explaining the need for the necessary capital to be able for the company to get to the finish line and how that likely will be accomplished via a strategic investment by a large pharma company. Gene spoke to the importance of cultivating relationships so that, as a company, ProMIS has plenty of options for continued funding. We also discussed the Shareholder Rights Plan that is in place to prevent a hostile takeover in the future without providing ProMIS the time to secure a deal better for its shareholders.
It was pretty easy to read between the lines and understand that big pharma is taking notice of ProMIS and their developments and are watching the company very closely. In my opinion, it will not be long before a large pharma company will want to "secure" the future rights to commercialization of the treatments that ProMIS is successfully moving towards. Perhaps more immediate the company will strike a partnership deal with a pharma company for its ALS Intellectual Property that would bring some immediate cash and future revenues to the company.
Elliot provided a great overview of the company's relationship with the University of British Columbia ("UBC") and how one of the first things that him and Gene did when joining the company was ensuring the agreement between the company and UBC was iron-clad. In essence, such agreement provides ProMIS a comprehensive, exclusive worldwide licensing agreement for any discovery from Dr. Cashman (ProMIS co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer) or Steven Plotkin's (Chief Physics Officer) lab at UBC. Elliot also emphasized that building an "IP fortress" around your products and their abilities is incredibly important, and the company is doing just that. I also found it very interesting to learn about just how difficult it is for a biotech company to obtain cadaveric brain tissue from confirmed Alzheimer's patients. This is another benefit of the relationship the company has with UBC.
The next few months will be an exciting time for ProMIS.