Tampa Redux - Part I
Considering I spent all of my time in Florida by myself, I had a great time. I got a chance to visit so many places while down there.
I arrived Wednesday evening around 9:15 PM without incident. After taking a shuttle to the local Alamo and picking out a compact car to drive in, I drove an hour & a half to Sarasota. I spent the evening at a Country Inns & Suites. I remember being impressed by the chain when I visited Providence, R.I. last September for a friend's wedding. This one wasn't too bad but I think I preferred the one in R.I.
Thursday morning I headed straight to DNAP headquarters, which was 20 minutes away from the hotel. The outside grounds were as I remembered it in 2003 when I last visited. Instead of letting us inside the facilities this time, the company sprung a giant tent with chairs and even had a continental breakfast (translation: bagels, donuts, juice, coffee) for the investors.
I parked my rear on a random chair and since I had eaten Country Inns and Suites continental breakfast earlier, I passed on the snacks. About five minutes later, DNAP Chairman Hector Gomez began DNAP's annual stockholder's meeting.
The meeting definitely had its fireworks, especially in regards to the reverse split that the company wishes to implement. A lot of investors, myself included, was quite upset by the prospect of losing their current stock percentage. The arguments were mute, however, as the Board of Directors hold the majority of the shares and have already pretty much decided on the split. Basically the reason cited for doing the split was to ensure that the company could tap into their new equity provided by a third party group of 40 million dollars. The only way the deal with this group would happen is with the reverse split.
With that formality out of the way, the real exciting part of the meeting (and the new reason why I'm still sticking with this stock, even though those who know about it think I'm crazy) began. The company basically received an exclusive deal from Beth Israel to produce a "Super EPO" drug that'll help increase "red blood cell" counts in humans. Currently an EPO drug exists for this and is produced by pharmaceutical giant Amgen. The drug, however, is only effective for one day and has to be readministered. The proposed "Super EPO" drug is effective for up to seven days. Since the drug currently is administered by a shot, that means less shots over time are needed.
Dr. Frudakis, the Chief Scientific Officer of DNAP, is quite excited by the prospects and seemed quite confident that this would be a win/win situation for the company. The potential market for the drug is $10 billion dollars. Assuming the drug is successfully created, this would prove to be quite the coupe for DNAP and could possibly propel the stock to much, much higher levels.
I may even consider plunking more money into the stock. But that would have to be after the current Reverse Split, which is proposed to be a 1:20. Also I would have to see that the company's making progress on the drug creation and testing. I currently have 109,000 shares. After the split, I'll only have 5,450 shares.
I stayed afterwards to check out the 3D-technology that they want to incorporate into their DNAWitness package. The gist of the technology is that based on DNA, this package would provide police with a 3D composite of a suspect. Pretty exciting stuff, though I think the Super EPO drug is definitely where the excitement is at.
I, alongside with a few other investors, including a few from the infamous message boards, chatted with the good doctor. I greeted Dr. Frudakis and was pleasantly surprised when Dr. Frudakis stated that he remembered me. Ironically it wouldn't have been too hard to remember me, seeing as I was the only African-American male present both in 2003 and this year. But I was happy nonetheless by the shout-out.
I told Dr. Frudakis that I was amazed that Beth Isreal chose them over say, I don't know, Amgen. I figured since Amgen created the original drug that they'd have a vested interest in protecting their cash cow. Dr. Frudakis stated that Beth Isreal did actually enlist Pfizer for the job of creating the "Super EPO". However, Pfizer sat on their asses (in other words, they had lots of other drugs in their pipeline and were too busy to focus on BI's needs) and thanks to a loophole Beth Isreal provided in their contract, they were able to break the contract and thanks to connections with the current CEO of DNAP, DNAP was able to secure the deal.
The estimated time that the drug could be ready would be sometime in late 2007 - early 2008. So I have to patiently wait even longer. I've been in DNAP since 2000 and I guess I'm still relatively young...*LOL*. So wait on!
Maybe my other potential hot stock, NCDP, will take off sometime next year and I can take the profits from that and buy back into DNAP. That's assuming progress is made on the drug and of course, I'm assuming that NCDP does, you know, do something. Let's keep hope alive!
I said my goodbyes to the group and left feeling better about my investment. Short-term will be disappointing and since I've already lost money on DNAP, it doesn't even make sense to sell at this point. However, the long-term potential, thanks to this deal makes my investment much more promising than when I originally invested. Time will tell. Maybe 2008 will be my year.