A gigantic whale trade occurred on December 20, 2019, in CALA stock. The trade came off a dark pool and was an incredible 2667% larger than the average daily volume in the stock. The whale trade was valued at around $42 million and was for 9,488,000 shares.
On December 6, 2019, the company filed a Form 424B5 with the SEC that disclosed an Open Market Sale Agreement with Jefferies. It states, “In accordance with the terms of the sales agreement, we may offer and sell shares of our common stock having an aggregate offering price of up to $50,000,000 from time to time through Jefferies, acting as our agent… The compensation to Jefferies for sales of common stock sold pursuant to the sales agreement will be an amount up to 3% of the gross proceeds of any shares of common stock sold under the sales agreement.” Source: https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1496671/000119312519308385/d105105d424b5.htm
The unusually large dark pool block order was for $42 million. If we take $50M – Jefferies 3% fee of $1.5M, we get $48.5M, and this trade was for $42M, that leaves about $6.5 million unaccounted for (could be smaller dark pool trades since December 6th that we didn’t detect or it could be some still held because the negotiated deal that Jefferies brokered was slightly less than the upper limit the company was willing to pay). Still, I think it’s close enough to guestimate that this dark pool order came from Jefferies as disclosed in the Form 424B5 filing.
We think that another company really wants to get their hands on Calithera Biosciences’ telaglenastat. Telaglenastat is a selective glutaminase inhibitor that blocks glutamine consumption in tumor cells and demonstrates synergistic antitumor effects with multiple anticancer therapies in preclinical studies. Telaglenastat, when given alone or in combination with a variety of other anti-cancer agents, affects multiple pathways in tumor cells, leading to energetic blocks, inhibition of DNA synthesis, oxidative stress, and cell cycle disruptions. Because telaglenastat has multiple mechanisms for impacting cellular metabolism, it has anti-tumor effects on a number of different tumor types in combination with a variety of different agents, including tyrosine kinase inhibitors, mTOR inhibitors, taxanes, cdk4/6 inhibitors and PARP inhibitors. Telaglenastat binds to a site on glutaminase distinct from the glutamine-binding active site, making it a highly selective and unique allosteric inhibitor. Telaglenastat is well-tolerated in part because of this selectivity. The company is currently developing telaglenastat in combination with standard therapies in a select set of solid tumors. My guess is that one of the partners they are working with a combination therapy on, wants to take a sizeable position in Calithera Biosciences. We could get a new partnership announcement coming soon.
Folks this is total speculation and we’re like reading tea leaves here about what this gigantic dark pool order was.