Why Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Shares Leapt Higher

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Idenix Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: IDIX  ) , a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapies to help treat human viral disease, advanced as much as 18% after announcing that it had raised $106.7 million through a registered direct offering.

So what: According to Idenix's press release, the Baupost Group has agreed to purchase $106.7 million worth of Idenix shares (16,420,241 shares) at a price of $6.50 per share, a slight discount to yesterday's closing value. Upon completion of the offering, Baupost, which previously owned 27% of Idenix's outstanding shares, will own 35% of the company's outstanding shares. Idenix notes that this added cash should sustain it through at least the second-half of 2015.

Now what: Clearly, there are two factors at work here. First, a single shareholder with a 35% stake in the company can lead to the interpretation that a takeover is a possibility. Given Idenix's recent pipeline struggles and ongoing losses, it wouldn't be out of the question. The other catalyst at work here is the fact that $106.7 million in fresh capital will now go toward helping Idenix develop its line of hepatitis C experimental drugs. Unfortunately, I feel Idenix might be way too late to the hepatitis C party if and when it's able to get a hepatitis C drug into late-stage trials. Let's not forget that Idenix has scrapped three of its lead compounds since 2010 and has another currently on clinical hold. In other words, just because Idenix has a fresh cash infusion doesn't mean a darn thing will change. Until Idenix delivers positive late-stage results, I'd suggest keeping your distance.

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