What happened

Shares of BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:BCRX) are up 14.5% at 1:16 p.m. after the biotech's new CFO, Anthony Doyle, purchased 54,000 shares of the company at $4.08 per share. That's an investment of more than $220,000.

So what

As they say, there are many reasons an executive might feel the need to sell shares, but there's only one reason to buy: Doyle clearly thinks shares are undervalued at this point.

Doyle's price is well below the company's 52-week high of $6.29, but it's also nearly three times the 52-week low of $1.38. Call it a good, but certainly not great, price.

Pills on top of $100 bills

Image source: Getty Images.

BioCryst's valuation has increased dramatically as investors have rushed in ahead of anticipated approvals in the U.S. and Japan for its hereditary angioedema treatment, Orladeyo. Both approvals are expected before the end of the year and a few months later, BioCryst should hear from E.U. regulators about the marketing application in Europe.

Investors are also excited about BioCryst testing its antiviral drug, galidesivir, in patients with COVID-19. Initial data from the galidesivir clinical trial are expected by the end of this quarter.

Now what

While it's tempting to assume Doyle has some insider information that gave him confidence to make the investment, there are no guarantees that BioCryst's valuation will continue on its upward trajectory.

Orladeyo will face substantial competition in the hereditary angioedema space. The FDA has approved seven products to treat the genetic disease, which is characterized by severe swelling.

There's currently a multi-billion opportunity in COVID-19, especially if galidesivir works better than Gilead Sciences' remdesivir. But the biotech is in a race to get galidesivir approved as quickly as possible. With vaccines potentially on the market early next year, the number of cases of COVID-19 could decline dramatically before BioCryst has a chance to generate enough data to gain an emergency use authorization with the Food and Drug Administration.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.