What happened

What a difference a day makes. Following a serious pop for its stock on Wednesday, given very encouraging news about one of its pipeline drugs, Curis (NASDAQ:CRIS) saw its shares dive by almost 20% the following day. The culprit? The cancer drug developer's latest set of quarterly results.

So what

Curis released its first-quarter figures after market close on that otherwise glorious Wednesday. During the quarter, the company took in just under $2.19 million in revenue, which consisted almost entirely of royalties. That was down from the year-ago quarter's $2.71 million, and missed the average analyst estimate of $2.75 million, according to data compiled by Yahoo! Finance.

A woman in a lab outfit putting a sample in  a petri dish.

Image source: Getty Images.

As for the bottom line, the clinical stage biotech's net loss was $9.93 million ($0.11 per share), slightly deeper than the year-ago shortfall of $9.71 million. As with revenue, prognosticators were expecting better -- collectively, they were modeling a deficit of $0.09 per share for the quarter.

Now what

Those weren't dramatic misses, but news of them came very shortly after Curis announced that its CA-4948 pipeline drug targeting acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes reduced the count of abnormal white blood cells (known as blasts) in eight out of nine patients in an early-stage clinical study. That encouraging news was tempered by the fact that two participants experienced side effects at high doses.

Nevertheless, it is an extremely promising development not only for the company, but also in the overall fight against leukemia. Curis believers, then, shouldn't be dissuaded by Thursday's price swoon.

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.