What happened

Shares of the early commercial stage biotech Agile Therapeutics (AGRX) are in a tailspin Thursday morning. The drugmaker's stock is down by 20.5% as of 10:12 a.m. EST today.

Following this latest downward move, Agile's stock has now lost over a third of its value since the start of February. That's not exactly the outcome shareholders were hoping for after the company got the green light from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its weekly contraceptive patch Twirla roughly two weeks ago on Feb. 14

A man getting punched in the face.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Agile's collapse since Twirla's approval is the result of three headwinds:

  1. There is still tremendous uncertainty surrounding the commercial opportunity offered by Twirla. Wall Street has the product's sales coming in at a respectable $58.6 million in 2021, which would definitely be a decent haul for a company with a market cap hovering around $174 million at present. To reach that point, however, the company has to work out Twirla's reimbursement status with payers and hire a sales team. That's a lot to ask of a company new to the game of marketing and selling a healthcare product. 
  2. Agile doesn't have the strongest balance sheet. The company did recently raise capital, but it still may not have a long enough cash runway to reach cash-flow-positive status. That implies more capital raises could be in store over the next year or so. 
  3. Finally, this is just a bad day for small-cap biotech stocks in general, due to the threat of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Nearly all of these stocks are in the red this morning. 

Now what

Is Agile stock a bargain at these levels? The good news is that the bottom can't be that far off. Twirla's long-term commercial opportunity is simply too great for this stock to continue to fall, especially at this breakneck pace. So, if you're comfortable with volatility, it might be a good idea to buy some shares on this latest dip.