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Documedia Share Discussion Threads

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Quite a spike in volume there, with several million shares suddenly traded in the days before that refinancing was due to be completed! The share price rose around 30% as a result ---------------------------------------------- photo sharing websites ---------------------------------------------- jt 27 Mar'11 - 06:44 - 24 of 26551 0 0 POSTED AT 5:25 PM ON 16th MAY 2011. QUINTILES RE-FINANCING BACK ON TRACK In previous posts no's 22 and 23 I discussed the strong likelihood that the presence of Quintiles at PRM's AD Focus day was not just a coincidence, together, and supported by their strong involvement and history over 5 years in Alzheimer studies throughout the world (ref post 23, Quintiles presentation pdf file), I pointed to the likelihood that in my opinion that there may be a deal to come in the future and this may be predicated by the large re-financing package that Quintiles reported via a press release on 23rd March. The re-financing as of Wednesday 11th April is now back on track and should be completed by 7th June; see one of just several news reports on Wednesday this week including live report on Bloomberg TV. We are not there yet but it is timely nevertheless to consider what comes next and for shareholders to see the big picture that may arise in a shorter time frame than might be expected. Many will be surprised to know that the big pharmacos often take a copycat attitude to drug development. A case in point was the rush into gamma secretase inhibitors of beta amyloid plaque because they believed en-mass that if you could stop or remove beta amyloid then Alzheimer's disease would be cured or stopped in its tracks. With so many notable beta amyloid failures, see just one of them, post 23 and reference to Quintiles involvement with Eli Lilly and the failed gamma secretase enzyme inhibitor compound (pill form) semagacestat, pharmacos (including their CRO counterparts) are now turning their attention to tau tangles. A deal with the world's largest CRO around AD would alert big pharmacos to Proteome and its position in Alzheimer's. The significance will primarily hit home with each of the large drug companies that Proteome are already engaged. It is these companies and others that will shape the direction of Proteome's share price as they turn their attention to the patented technology held by Proteome and the in-depth knowledge being acquired by Proteome's partner that will spell-out a head start into a new regime of drug testing. It will inevitably lead to similar deals with Proteome at the centre of negotiations. Quintiles may potentially become the CRO AD expert of choice and will benefit from their greater expertise and ability to cherry pick subsequent AD pharma partners and programmes. With colossal budgets, see yesterday's 12th May proposed buy-out by Takeda of Swiss rival Nycomed for $12 billion, it will only take one company to start a bidding war for Proteome with the primary focus being to catch up on the missed Alzheimer deal opportunity and at the same time to play catch up again by attempting to acquire the IP rights to the multiple Alzheimer's patents held by Proteome. It's not rocket science guesswork and also not difficult to see multiples of the current share price being reached in a short time frame. To fully understand the full significance of the deal 'in the wings' ponder for a moment the huge costs that have to be ear-marked for a full human clinical study. Upwards of $200 / $500 million are spent on the phase 3 pivotal study so this sort of monetary commitment must be there from the outset and a lot more of course to cover expenses up to phase 3 and beyond in companion diagnostic monitoring of the new drug. When a company first files to take a compound from pre-clinical testing into human trials, the FDA now require the submission of credible biomarker programme data. It should go without saying that the game changer deal will be the result of pre-clinical selective monitoring of several compounds during which Proteome's 9 panel will have been extensively used to evaluate suitable candidates to take forward into clinical trials. A deal could not follow without such in-depth investigational work. From Proteome's standpoint their inclusion in a clinical trial will show just how highly considered their technology and experience is being rated and there can be no greater pointer to what comes next.
Right, another independent view from experts ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE BIOMARKERS: FROM CONCEPT TO CLINICAL UTILITY 'Briefly, a sensitivity of 100% indicates that a diagnostic test identifies all patients with AD, while a test with 100% specificity identifies all individuals free of AD. For a biomarker to be useful in the diagnosis of AD, it should have a sensitivity and specificity of >85%' PRM's panel had AD vs control of 76% sens and 72% spec From what I've read, a cognitive assessment by physician would be quite a bit more accurate
jt - 27 Mar'11 - 06:45 - 27 of 12502 COMMENT ON SINGER CAPITAL MARKETS. (POSTED on 1st AUGUST 2011.) Further to my recent dedicated post 26 in which I used the separate BCC report to examine Proteome's figure for the global diagnostics market in Alzheimer's disease I find it extraordinary that nowhere in any of the Singer Capital Markets broker's notes on or since 27th May 2011 (date of the final results for yr ending 2010.) they have not commented on the privately commissioned benchmarking exercise that resulted in a $9.8 bln market segment for Proteome's diagnostic biomarkers. Indeed the only mention of Alzheimer's was this; "In addition the company developed two new biomarker assays for Alzheimer's Disease". In previous notes Singer's had ascribed a value of 1 pence per share for Proteome's AD exposure, that could now be seen in sharp contrast to the newly commissioned figure of $9.8 bln over the next 10 years and the emergence and recognition that Tau (where Proteome has a strong position and IP) plays a key role in AD . Shareholders can now read in dedicated post no 26 of corroborating figures by BCC research that ascribe even higher figures than Proteome's in house report. At the AGM in response to a question to the board from a gentleman sitting immediately behind Shawn Manning (Singer analyst) of why haven't Singers reported on the $9.8 bln market for AD diagnostics, CEO Christopher Pearce took the embarrassment out of the question directed purposely or inadvertently at Shawn Manning by telling the meeting that Singers had all the background information , market sizes etc and that no doubt they were in the process of looking to adjust their basis of asset value. There have been 4 more brokers' notes from Singer's since their 27th May note without any further mention of AD or addressing the $9.8 bln figure. It raises some important questions and issues. Does the omission by Singers indicate that they are content with their previous 1 pence per share valuation? (A possibility, yet remarkable situation if true). Are Singers embarrassed with their low figure and are not commenting for fear of ridicule? (A possibility) Are they choosing to ignore the subject of Alzheimer's disease because they lack ability to understand the science and IP that Proteome control around the diagnostic biomarkers or Tau assay panels? (most unlikely). Do they hold a bigoted view against the company? (Probably not but it might appear so to some). Whatever the ultimate view of an analyst it is incumbent upon them to discuss important topics in an open light even if they then choose a reasoned approach to actual valuation that entails a heavily discounted conclusion. Singers approach appears to completely ignore any value for AD which is ludicrous in the light of world market evidence. Theirs is a futile approach to what for Proteome is a fundamental part of their value and massive market opportunity. It is not unreasonable for Proteome and shareholders alike to have expected some form of comment from Singers on a diagnostics market that is growing exponentially in Alzheimer's disease; one in which Proteome have an established intellectual property position that has been independently verified by industry and academia.
Harry S Truman - 16 Feb'12 - 21:21 - 11755 of 11761 The two in question doc: 1) You've said a few time here that we can't blame the management for the products. In other words with different products they would have done well. I pointed out here that Kodak had all the digital camera patents worth having as they invented the digital camera and yet they've just filed for bankruptcy protection and are exiting the photographic market because of some shockingly bad strategic decisions. i.e. top flight managers can be bad performers as well as good and there were always other options for us, not least the options that the board listed in the prospectus as alternatives to selling shareholders 5p shares which are now worth 3p. 2) You mention that we have cash until Q1 next year. I pointed out the quote from our board, written in the prospectus that running into the last year of cash leaves the company too vulnerable. Many reasons mentioned. The Company's net cash balance at 30 June 2011, as stated in the interim report, was £20.2 million. At 31 October 2011 the Company had a net cash balance of £17.5 million. Today we will be roughly £3.5m less. The way we're going, at a full year results webcast towards the end of March we'll have £12.5m in the bank, which is as near to 12 months cash as makes no odds. Dawson stressed at the time of the last fundraising that he couldn't negotiate in the last year of cash. So that's 6 weeks then for the ProSavin deal, do you agree?
the_doctor - 29 Nov'11 - 13:26 - 6602 of 6607 edit something for the more clued up here: 1) out of interest, are you please able to point out any comments or publications relating to RLP554's action on PDE4D? 2) "Similarly, although PDE3 inhibitors do not appear to have direct anti-inflammatory actions, they appear to augment the anti-inflammatory actions of PDE4 inhibitors (Robicsek et al 1991; Schudt et al 1995; Giembycz et al 1996)." are you able to point out any clinical trial data supporting that? there may not be any yet of course 3) 'enzymatic data published with IC50 for PDE3 and PDE4 of 0.4 versus 1,479 nM indicate that PDE3 inhibition will probably be the dominant activity of the compound at relevant concentrations' Given that PDE3 is not thought to have intrinsic efficacy, will its effect of aiding PDE4 be enough here if the PDE4 activity is lower? roflumilast has an IC50 of 0.8 nM for PDE4. IF the effect on both is sufficient, then this finding is promising 'PDE4 inhibitors are effective but that complete inhibition of CD41 T-cell activation can be achieved only by combined inhibition of PDE4 and PDE3' 4) given the discontinuation of other candidates, have pharmas gone off PDE4 inhibitors as a class? 5) Approval of Nycomed's roflumilast will have helped - but is there anything much to show RLP554 note: these are not leading questions, so dont get silly and start attacking them! If pharmas agree with or share these concerns, they may not offer a good deal SIMPLE BUT... if there are answers or if there is good supporting evidence, they may be happy to go ahead without further clinical trial data. hm2075 - 29 Nov'11 - 13:47 - 6605 of 6607 1) out of interest, are you please able to point out any comments or publications relating to RLP554's action on PDE4D? refer here 2) "Similarly, although PDE3 inhibitors do not appear to have direct anti-inflammatory actions, they appear to augment the anti-inflammatory actions of PDE4 inhibitors (Robicsek et al 1991; Schudt et al 1995; Giembycz et al 1996)." research cAMP/smooth muscle, a tip here read bronchodilatory and Anti-inflammatory action 3) 'enzymatic data published with IC50 for PDE3 and PDE4 of 0.4 versus 1,479 nM indicate that PDE3 inhibition will probably be the dominant activity of the compound at relevant concentrations' Given that PDE3 is not thought to have intrinsic efficacy, will its effect of aiding PDE4 be enough here if the PDE4 activity is lower? roflumilast has an IC50 of 0.8 nM for PDE4 again refer the the first journal 4) given the discontinuation of other candidates, have pharmas gone off PDE4 inhibitors as a class? daxas is being approved in various countries, developing a high affinity pde4 inhibitor is a good strategy, developing a dual pde3/4 is better 5) Approval of Nycomed's roflumilast will have helped - but is there anything much to show RLP554 VRP are not providing shareholders with every bit of information, most of it is confidental What we see in the public domain is very limited information, and we can only use that to base our investments, however for a world class scientist in respiratory disease to say the following "Referring to the pilot trial, Professor Cazzola commented, "The extent of bronchodilation, plus the absence of any side effects with RPL544, are very encouraging and show that the drug has potential to be a significant new class of bronchodilators for the treatment of COPD. Many existing bronchodilator drug treatments for COPD produce side effects due to the cardiovascular and other health issues relating to the disease." means something.
fgnoms, you moved from 'no working panels' to 'we already know that the panel works' there's no use trying to backtrack to say: 'they very well might have and we should know shortly.' you just said 'WE ALREADY KNOW THAT THE PANEL WORKS' Let's face it, you were trying to set up a situation wherein if/when good data is announced, you'll claim we knew that already. But not being smart, you forgot you'd been saying that PRM has no working panels. So fgnoms - what changed - what was the data that swung you from 'no working panels' to accepting we now know one or more works? Come on, let's see if you have the guts to explain
- why would someone that 'never sells shares' have been using CFDs? - why would someone switching from CFDs have not mentioned that and instead claimed he was buying 500k shares - why would someone buying 500k shares not have been able to state one single positive reason for buying them other than some made up rubbish about a CEO's tip, which was later switched to a claim of buying on stroke hopes, even when at the time you couldnt say a positive word about stroke - why would someone that never sells a share end up with the whole of his grandson's trust in PRM. Why would he ONLY post on the PRM thread, not any others despite claims of being wealthy and a lifetime of investment - why would an 'expert accountant' not ever make one intelligent accounting remark, while making several major goofs that any accountant wouldnt have. You just dig your hole deeper Billy Liar
What are your views/answers to the comments I've given then Filbert - Detailed and specific, not generalisations You've repeatedly posted that my views are ramps, so now's your chance to challenge them... ... but after all your talk, getting you to actually point out what's rampy/wrong in my views, is like getting blood out of a stone! 4. why would patients want a very early prediction test Filbert? BECAUSE THE EARLIER TREATMENT IS INITIATED THE BETTER, AND THAT REQUIRES DIAGNOSIS AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE Nice in theory, but treatment with what? - you're not going to get given acetylcholinesterase inhibitors or memantine 7 years prior to symptoms - they're symptomatic treatments - and IF bapineuzumab etc are launched in the next few years, they'll only be used for patients WITH AD! In theory, new trials could be undertaken for the new pre-symptomatic patients diagnosed with the test [when that's validated!] But trials for use with 7 year pre-AD patients would need to be AT LEAST 7 years long - more likely over 10 years! There's little commercial interest in that sort of timeframe, from either patients or pharmas - but there is research interest Until there are treatment options for these very early AD patients, why on earth would they want to know they have it. There IS an interest in picking up pre-AD patients, but not 7 years (that's important to note) The Dutch study didnt look closely enough at patients say 2 years pre AD - or those with MCI. This is something that the AD1000 study is looking at Why would pharmas want very early prediction BECAUSE THE EARLIER TREATMENT IS INITIATED THE BETTER, AND THAT REQUIRES DIAGNOSIS AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE As above. very early pre-AD - 10, 20, 30, or even just 7 years, are still way too early for commercial interest when that would only be exploited in equally long-term clinical trials? THE EARLIER CURRENT DRUGS ARE USED THE BETTER, SO NOT NECESSARILY THE CASE - HOWEVER, FOR NEW DRUGS AND EARLIER USE OF THEM SUCH DIAGNOSIS IS ESSENTIAL - THE FIELD CAN'T REALLY MOVE FORWARD WITHOUT EARLY DIAGNOSIS I agree, it's chicken and egg! Fact is, nobody is investing in very early cases, for reasons I've said If that's wrong, then you're welcome to prove it as I've suggested before It's a problem - the way forward may have to be finding drugs that CAN halt or slow symptomatic AD. In anycase, with bapineuzumab etc, pharmas are just hoping they'll work enough in symptomatic cases anyway. AD is a slow disease. Why would pharmas and dx co.s not want surrogate markers that track progression or reveal the severity of AD? I can give a mass of evidence showing they DO! I'VE NEVER SAID THEY DON'T AND HAVE REPEATEDLY AGREED THEY DO Good to hear it Filbert - it seems you've gone from calling my views meaningless ramps, to now agreeing! You've had little option though of course However, IYO very early prediction (7 years in the Dutch study, the data get even less reliable/smaller for less years) is 'very valuable', Given the significant commercial impracticalities to getting money out of very early prediction, as I've explained, vs comparatively easy approaches for surrogate markers that track progression or reveal the severity of AD.... would you say that surrogate markers that track progression or reveal the severity of AD are AT LEAST AS VALUABLE, if not moreso? 5. I've explained why very early prediction isnt commercially valuable. Despite calling me a ramper - when YOU are the one making unsubstantiated claims! Tell me Filbert, explain why very early prediction would be 'very valuable' and how licensees woud make money out of it
Filbert 1. fgnoms ignorantly says the Dutch study was sufficient to have clusterin marketed as a test for very early AD prediction is he right/wrong or dont you know? 2. tell me what it would take to validate a marker sufficiently for that use - roughly in terms of time and patients 3. 'There are both good and bad aspects to what was found' a) the bad aspects arent a near-term commercial aim - have I ever said before that it would be?? b) so are the good aspects worth anything filbert, given you say early prediction would be 'very valuable'? Explain why they are not 'very valuable' I can say in detail why they're far more valuable than the very early prediction. 4. why would patients want a very early prediction test Filbert? Why would pharmas want very early prediction when that would only be exploited in equally long-term clinical trials? Why would pharmas and dx co.s not want surrogate markers that track progression or reveal the severity of AD? I can give a mass of evidence showing they DO! 5. I've explained why very early prediction isnt commercially valuable. Despite calling me a ramper - when YOU are the one making unsubstantiated claims! Tell me Filbert, explain why very early prediction would be 'very valuable' and how licensees woud make money out of it 6. when you say 'very valuable', do you agree with fgnoms' 'billions', or is he going over the top - bear in mind also that before this data, he asserted that there could be nothing significant coming through!! All these accusations of me being a ramper Filbert, but I have been able to justify everything I've said, whereas you just make accusations and talk! It's easy to make endless accusations Filbert, but you dont appear to be able to follow any of it through!
'I was hoping for the holy grail biomarker weren't you?' no fgnoms, because you're confused 10 year prediction IS an aim, and it's what people like Lovestone ALSO strive towards. However, it is NOT the aim. Ask anyone who know's what they're talking about in AD and they'll tell you what I'm saying The 10 year prediction would be a holy grail to have ONE DAY, but in terms of generating value for PRM, it is irrelevant Why? because developing any drugs that show they stop/slow AD 10 years later would take too long to develop! You focused ONLY on the clusterin role that isnt important, ignoring the roles that ARE! 'PRM hasn't exactly furnished us with details' sure - I regularly have them up for that! The associations of plasma clusterin concentration with rates of change in brain volume were significantly different between MCI and control groups... Within the MCI but not control group, higher baseline concentration of plasma clusterin was associated with slower rates of brain atrophy in these regions. In the combined autopsy sample of AD and control cases, representing a range of severity in AD pathology, we observed a significant association between clusterin concentration in the plasma and that in the superior temporal gyrus. Our findings suggest that clusterin, a plasma protein with roles in amyloid clearance, complement inhibition and apoptosis, and is associated with rate of brain atrophy in MCI. These findings in combination suggest an influence of this multi-functional protein on early stages of progression in AD pathology. This is work with PRM/KCL folk with the US National Institutes of Health Recall that Just in the last week, the head of research and development and a board member at GSK, stated that pharmas, academia and govts need to work together GSK has been working with KCL/PRM on: - tau phosphorylation - the 9 marker panel - identifying markers for identifying which patients will benefit, which found 4 markers, 3 of which are PRM's The UK govt has just given a mass of cash to various organisations KCL is in on 3 legs of that blood markers for AD have been highlighted as a potential beneficiary Now the GSK chap has said he was: "holding talks with his counterparts at other large pharmaceutical companies about joint funding efforts with other organisations including the US National Institutes of Health and the EU-led Innovative Medicines Initiative"
'the timing of concluding some of the other licensing/commercial contracts may now occur later in the fourth quarter than expected and may not be fully reflected into revenues until 2011' - the question related to whether 'some contractS' has to be plural - contractS can relate to just one contract, as in 'one or more contracts' - I put forward that 'some' is essentially the same as 'one or more' and similarly, can relate to just one contract, or more UK dictionaries define 'some' as 'an unspecified number' without specification, a number can be one or more - a US dictionary includes the definition as 'at least one', which again means 'one or more
Giddy Kipper - 23 Aug 2011 - 09:55:36 - 4014 of 4251 ....As a matter of interest, the white-coated one is wrong about "some contracts" spoken of in 3925, being applicable to the singular "one", as follows:- "Some" varies to agree with "contracts", which it describes ( ref. analysis and parsing) and as it also falls into the area of agreement, gramatically, of number it can only be interpreted as plural because contracts is plural
YOU say the odds of a deal within 10 years are 'extremely long' So tell me jeffian, given your desire for objectivity etc. What exactly is that view based on? a) just because PRM hasnt delivered a deal in the last 10 years? b) an assessment of what PRM has NOW, what it is undertaking and how the demand may have evolved? I rest my case! It's bizarre that you even think you're talking sense with posts like 3771 PRM hasnt delivered an AD deal in the last 10 years, no Would I have expected an AD deal 10 years ago? No As I thought I very clearly just highlighted earlier to brouder, your view takes no account for how things evolve over those years How probability will have changed over those years. As I've said, if you bother to look at the differences, you'll understand that A couple of years ago: - PRM's MS assay approaches were not accepted. They are now - MS assays were done on older tech. The assays are now more robust - No pharmas were looking at PRM's AD markers. Several are now - Pharmas were much less into biomarkers - Regulatory guidance for biomarkers was less clear - Pharma was focused on beta amyloid. Now moved to tau and even beta amyloid vaccine developers highlighted tau phosphorylation as an indicator of a drug working... then as I suggested would happen, signed a service contract with PRM straight after - the AD markers were much less validated - the excitement re clusterin and other markers hadnt yet surfaced - Eli Lilly had not paid big bucks for an AD diagnostic - GE and Quintiles had not stated publicly that blood markers were necessary - PRM had not publicly stated a target of breakeven, giving (basic) details of deals - PRM had not proven it can do what the cynics say it cant with a massive sanofi settlemet Etc. etc. It is NOT the same as 10 years ago. To suggest that the chance of getting large deals is 'extremely low' just because there hasnt been any in the past 10 years is utterly irrational and quite frankly just highlights laziness - a case of 'I cant be bothered to assess how things have changed, so I'll assume they havent' As I've pointed out before: Avid had for many years not had any revenue or any deals It just spent a fortune and talked about partnerships and getting to profitability For x years it hadnt delivered, so the irrational would say that the odds of generating significant sums in the next x years would be 'extremely low' Then in came Lilly with a bid for $300-800m THE ODDS OF DEALS COMING ARE BASED ON WHAT PRM HAS NOW BASING ODDS ON THE PAST FOR A BUSINESS THAT IS NOW TOTALLY DIFFERENT IS SIMPLY IRRATIONAL - AND REALLY JUST A LAME EXCUSE FOR NOT ASSESSING WHAT IT HAS NOW
'Which means the major Pharma's sell twice as many the next year' sounds good for pharma. not exactly an incentive for them to invest in non-fridge tech then? ... but I'm not a deramper. Pharmas wouldnt want to shut the tech down. I've not said anything negative about Lipoxen Only that, quite rightly, people should look at competition, not believe a bb ramper that says there is none. In the vaccine space, of course there is! NOTE - I've never said Lipoxen's offering isnt better though. What I gave was an opportunity for you to tell me why their tech is better or as good It's a shame that instead you just childishly deramped my stocks with silly charts I can do the same - and I warned you I would Looks like your Lipoxen Buywell The key difference being that PRM has ~18 months cash before any further deals or contracts are done, or more products launch Read Lipoxen's accounts and the're stuck - if they can't get a deal done soon, then a fundraising is going to have to be done. That wont be pleasant for most shareholders - most likely would be done at 5p/share or less. I suggest you stop making silly comments about other stocks - and focus on those you own Yet taking a look at your beloved Lipoxen: - unlike OXB and PRM, it barely has cash left - the deal prospects are minimal - the chart is as bad/worse and a fundraising is pending People in glass houses and all that. I'm not going to post further provoking comments - I actually happen to be looking at Lipoxen because I'm looking at half-life tech..
the_doctor - 15 Mar'11 - 16:06 - 3640 of 3640 edit A quick summary of what I see as the potential breakeven drivers. In no specific order: - MS-assay commercial deal - could come via Thermo or other. Test launch said to be occurring this year, requiring a commercial licence. - Further MS Biomarker Services contracts - breakeven hit by adding more contracts onto the base of J&J, Eisai plus iTRAQ addition - Stroke test commercial deal - company timeline slide shows this in 2011. Large EU trial now finished presumably, paving the way for a deal and launch - AD test deal - partnering for PRM's 9 panel MS-assay for commercial use, or similar on the Luminex platform with Millipore. The soon to be started trial would not be occurring without sufficient justification. That justification could also be enough for a deal to be signed. - Thermo alliance expansion - following alliance work, Thermo may want to secure rights, paying a significant sum for potentially exclusive MS-assay rights to TMT - Large grant - PRM potentially stands in-line for further govt organisation grants. These could add significant sums - Sens-It-Iv deal - A commercial licence taken by a test firm or other for rights to use PRM's MS-assays in allergen testing - AD panel therapeutic rights - Pharma paying early for rights to use PRM's assays in what would later be a commercial therapeutic. - AD therapeutic target rights - After potentially having used the tau assay for approx two years now, pharma may have adequately tested drugs that act on it and be willing to pay for a deal. The milestones would be massive IMO, but a useful upfront could still be had - Breast cancer test licence - We know from the trading update that PRM may see a breast cancer licence and potentially also launch this year. - Other - As shown by the Sigma Aldrich deal, warranty claim, PRM has from time to time announced totally unexpected bonus value-adders. There may therefore be other deals that I've not mentioned above. I see any/all of the above as likely to occur. No, not all will be immediate, but some may be close
This thread is reserved my good man for the two fake Doctors arguing on the BLVN thread. If you require a Spartacus thread or any other Roman/slave rebelion related thread of any nature please let me know.
I am Spartacus!! :-))
residentgrassbox2 - 19 Aug'10 - 21:54 - 12504 of 12550 the_doctor - 19 Aug'10 - 21:11 - 12476 of 12502 where are 1-11 grassbox? Doctor, it was 1 - 30. If you want the rest then here they are. 1 These proceedings are a good illustration of why very careful consideration needs to be given by any party who seeks a freezing order to all the consequences of so doing. Meldex International Plc ("Meldex") applied for a worldwide freezing order against Richard Trevillion, the first defendant, and Stephen Martin, the second defendant. It was applied without notice to either defendant on the basis of serious allegations of fraudulent conduct in connection with the affairs of Meldex. 2 Those allegations amounted in substance to a suggestion that the defendants were entering into wholly uncommercial, sometimes described as fictitious transactions in order to inflate the value of Meldex's shares beyond their true value and so as to increase the bonuses which would be paid to them by Meldex. Whilst the word "fraud" was not expressly used in the particulars of claim, there is no doubt that the allegations made by Meldex against both defendants amounted in substance to allegations of dishonest behaviour. 3 The freezing order was granted by Peter Smith J in July 2009. He did so on the basis of an affidavit of Mr. Muncaster, amongst other materials, Mr. Muncaster being a director of Meldex. The affidavit claimed that the cross-undertaking in damages was well fortified because the company had net assets in excess of £4 million. 4 In due course the order of Peter Smith J was served on the first defendant and he applied for the order to be discharged on the grounds of material non-disclosure and misrepresentation. The material which was put together by the first defendant was highly cogent and explained the fact that, amongst other things, he was not directly concerned in many of the transactions in question; and those in which he was concerned appeared to have a proper commercial foundation. 5 The application also drew attention to the fact that the net asset position of the company was not as stated. In fact, the net asset position of Meldex showed a deficit of £2.4 million, a situation which, on its own, would have been a sufficient material non-disclosure to justify the discharge of the order. 6 Outside court on the date fixed for the hearing of the first defendant's application to set aside the freezing order, Meldex agreed that the freezing order should indeed be discharged. They also agreed to pay the first defendant's costs of the freezing order and the application and made an immediate payment of £20,000 towards those costs, the remaining costs being the first defendant's costs in the case. 7 In addition, and as part of that agreement, Meldex agreed to provide security for costs which, given the net asset position as it was by that time known, was obviously required. Meldex said they were unable to provide more than a limited amount of security themselves, and accordingly offered security by means of their two directors giving a charge over their respective family homes. The two directors, Mr. Muncaster and Mr. Cressman, were either contacted in connection with the giving of that undertaking or were present. However, it subsequently transpired that neither director was in a position to grant such security. Mr. Muncaster did not even own the relevant property which was owned by third parties, a Mr. and Mrs. Bailey, who, understandably, were not content for security to be granted over their house. 8 Given that the consent order required the giving of security and that the first defendant was left entirely without any form of security, he applied in due course in April 2010 to strike out the claimant's claim against him. At the last minute, the claimant notified the first defendant and his representatives that it would not be attending court. In consequence and having heard the argument presented on that day by counsel for the first defendant, the claimant's claim against the first defendant was struck out. Sales J summarised the position with which he was faced as follows: "A claim was brought by the claimant against the defendants which includes a claim in what is in substance in fraud against the first and second defendants which, in my view, is not pleaded with proper particularity so far as the first defendant is concerned. On the basis of that claim, a worldwide freezing injunction was obtained by the claimant against the first defendant but in circumstances where there was material non-disclosure by the claimant and where, once that issue was to be tested before the court, the claimant conceded that the freezing injunction should be discharged. The relevant order in issue before me was made by consent and required provision of substantial security by and on behalf of the claimant. There has been a complete failure by the claimant and Mr. Muncaster and Mr. Cressman to comply with para.3(ii) of the order and the requirement of provision of the further security in the sum of £400,000 as set out there. No adequate alternative proposals have been put forward as to how that additional security would be provided, and in my view no adequate explanation has been given as to how the claimant, on the instructions of Mr. Muncaster and Mr. Cressman, could have agreed to the terms of para.3(ii) of the order of 3rd March and then turned round within a short period thereafter to make it clear that that provision either could not be or would not be complied with. Finally, one has the bald letter from Mills & Reeve of 21st May, sent after the first defendant had filed evidence and had had to prepare to meet the claimant's case on this application based on evidence filed on behalf of the claimant, indicating that the claimant does not oppose the application but giving no good explanation for the claimant's sudden change in position in that regard." 9 In the light of that Sales J struck out the claim. He was not prepared, because no adequate notice had been given, to make a decision in relation to indemnity costs or in relation to the amount of any interim payment. It is those issues which, by virtue of two adjournments, come before me today. 10 The court has a wide discretion in relation to the basis on which the assessment of costs is to be carried out. For present purposes it is sufficient, because the principle is not in issue, to quote the relevant commentary in the White Book: "The making of a costs order on the indemnity basis would be appropriate in circumstances where the facts of the case and/or the conduct of the parties was such as to take the situation away from the norm (see Excelsior Commercial & Industrial Holdings Ltd. v. Salisbury Hammer Aspden & Johnson and Betesh & Company [2002] EWCA (Civ. 879)). Following Excelsior it is appropriate to award costs on the indemnity basis where the conduct of a party has taken a situation away from the norm. It is not always necessary to show deliberate misconduct, in some cases unreasonable conduct to a high degree would suffice." 11 In advancing the claim for indemnity costs this morning, Mr. Hubbard, who appears on behalf of the first defendant, relies on essentially four areas. Firstly, he relies on the unparticularised allegations of fraud; secondly, he says the claims were brought for an improper purpose; thirdly, he relies on the fact that the freezing injunction was obtained following material non-disclosures; and fourthly, he relies on conduct in relation to the litigation and the consent order. 12 Before me this morning Meldex has appeared by Mr. Muncaster, its director, and I gave him permission to make such submissions as he wished on behalf of Meldex. At an extraordinarily late stage he produced a skeleton argument of some three pages, and a lengthy witness statement. Both these documents seek to reopen matters of substance in relation to the case which has been struck out. It is obviously wholly inappropriate for me to consider those matters. 13 Mr. Muncaster in his address to me said that three judges had agreed that there was a case to be answered here and that Meldex's conduct was, therefore, not to be criticised. That suggestion seems to me to be wholly misconceived once one appreciates that the freezing order was obtained on the basis of evidence which contained material misrepresentations and exaggerations, and was subsequently agreed to be discharged by the company itself. 14 Secondly, Mr. Muncaster told me that Meldex consented to the release of the freezing order because the first defendant said that he only had £4,000 by way of assets, having transferred his house and other assets to his wife some time previously. Whether or not that is the true reason for the abandonment of the freezing order is rather difficult to bottom out on the basis of that mere assertion. Mr. Hubbard points out that if that was the reason it took the claimants from 9th December 2009 (the date on which the first defendant revealed his asset position) to 3rd March 2010 to take any action to release the first defendant from the freezing injunction. It seems to me that even if I were to accept Mr. Muncaster's explanation as wholly true, he then has to deal, and has not dealt, with the fact that the first defendant continued to be bound by the terms of a stringent order in relation to his assets for a period approaching three months without the benefit of knowing that Meldex were going to abandon it at the last possible opportunity. 15 Thirdly, Mr. Muncaster sought to explain the misrepresentation as to the asset position of Meldex by reference to the fact that what had been intended to be referred to was the group position. This again is going over old ground because it was conceded in the skeleton argument on behalf of Meldex, which was in due course not argued in court, that there had been a material misrepresentation in relation to the asset position. Mr. Muncaster did not help the position of Meldex this morning by saying that the net asset position of Meldex was, in fact, £2 million, rather than £4 million, forgetting to put a minus sign in front of the £2 million. 16 As I have mentioned, one of the factors relied on by the first defendant is that these proceedings were motivated by improper motives and in particular by a vendetta against the first defendant. Perhaps the most striking matter that they relied on concerned a paragraph in Mr. Muncaster's witness statement which, on one reading, might be said to suggest that he would not have started the proceedings on behalf of Meldex if it had been known that the defendants had the ability to defend them with access to insurance cover. That particular passage, it seems to me, in the light of matters which have come to light subsequently, may not have quite the meaning which the claimant seeks to place upon it. Nevertheless, and putting that to one side, it does appear to me that the evidence does suggest that a certain amount of ill-feeling was behind these proceedings. 17 Even putting all that to one side, it seems to me that, as a matter almost of policy, it should be made clear by this court that where proceedings of this nature are started they have a devastating effect on those against whom they are pursued. These proceedings were not only wrongly commenced against the first defendant so far as one is able to tell, but were abandoned as soon as a serious challenge was put. 18 It seems to me that this is a classic case in which the costs order should reflect the court's disapproval of the conduct of the claimant in pursuing it in the way they have done and in using the court's process in the way which I have described. For those reasons it seems to me to be entirely fair and just that an order for costs on the indemnity basis should be made. 19 I turn, therefore, to the question of an interim payment. The mathematics appear in this way: the first defendant's costs to date are of the order of £600,000. If I were to order an interim payment of £300,000 then after deduction of the sum that has already been paid the interim payment should be £200,000. 20 There are two schools of thought about where to pitch the interim payment. In Mars UK Limited v. Teknowledge it was suggested that one should be so cautious as to ensure that the sum which one ordered was one which the receiving party was bound to recover in any event. On the other hand, excessive caution could be said to provoke the need for a detailed assessment because the amount in dispute is likely to be so large that an assessment may be worthwhile. Following that alternative school of thought, one would try and pitch the interim payment as close as possible to the sum which ultimately will be recovered. 21 Mr. Hubbard submits that in the present case 65 per cent would be the appropriate sum, yielding a figure closer to £288,000. Whilst in the present case I think it may be dangerous to go that far, it seems to me that the right sum to order by way of interim payment is £250,000, and I propose to make an order in that sum. L A T E R : 22 This is an application for security for costs by the second defendant in the litigation which I have described in the judgment I gave earlier this morning. The principle of the claimants being liable to give security for the costs of the second defendant is not in dispute and it has been accepted by solicitors on behalf of Meldex that security will be given. There is an issue about the amount of security. I should also, in the exercise of my discretion, have regard to the sum which is ordered so as not to make the sum one which it is impossible for the claimants to pay. 23 As to that, the second defendant has estimated that some £800,000 might be spent on his behalf between the commencement of these proceedings and the conclusion of the trial. It seems to me that that may be an over-estimate, and in any event it may never actually happen, but it does seem to me to be reasonable to provide security up to and including exchange of witness statements in this case. 24 The sum which is asked on that basis is £150,000, which seems to me, particularly in the light of the fact that already £81,000 has been spent on behalf of the second defendant, to be a reasonable sum by way of security, taking into account the consideration that I have already mentioned – that is to say the sum should not be one which is obviously impossible for the claimant to pay. 25 As to that, I have got very little material to go by so far as the claimant is concerned as to what efforts it has made to raise money to provide that sort of security. Mr. Muncaster, the director of Meldex, has told me that the shareholders are, in principle, very supportive of the case and if that is so there is no reason why they should not provide that sort of sum by way of security. 26 Mr. Muncaster's real point this morning is that I should adjourn or stay the application for security, or the proceedings as a whole, pending some application which apparently is pending before the Master to obtain third party disclosure against a company called Crescent which it is hoped will somehow fortify the claim which the claimant is bringing against the second defendant. It seems to me that that would not be an appropriate course to take. It is something which is raised at the very last moment and which the second defendant has had no opportunity of dealing with. It seems to me, to say the least, surprising that at this very advanced stage of the litigation the claimant should be seeking documents to establish whether the allegations which they made as long ago as July 2009 had any substance in them. It seems to me that there simply is not enough material for me to say that it would be right to wait until the outcome of that application before the order for security is made. Nor is there, in my judgment, sufficient linkage between that application and this for there to be a need for a stay. 27 If the litigation against the second defendant is to be pursued there must be some prospect that if he succeeds he is able to get his costs back for defending himself. At the moment there is no such prospect. Security is obviously necessary, as recognised by Meldex, and the sum claimed is, in my judgment, entirely reasonable. 28 For those reasons, I propose to make an order that by four o'clock on 20th August the claimant gives security for the second defendant's costs of the claim up to the exchange of witness statements in the sum of £150,000 in the form set out in the draft order which has been placed before me. 29 Pending the provision of security the proceedings are stayed, and unless security is given the claim will be struck out as per para.3 of that order. 30 The costs of the second defendant's application will be costs in the case.
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