Shares of specialty drugmaker Dynavax Technologies
For 2007, Dynavax expects to have operating expenses of approximately $76 million to $84 million. However, it also expects to end the year with cash and investments in the range of $38 million to $42 million, a significant decline from the current balance of $86 million.
With this sort of cash burn, another round or two of dilutive financings should be in the works in the next year. Most of this spending is expected to be on the company's Heplisav hepatitis B vaccine, which showed promising results in its first of three phase 3 trials in December.
Dynavax's ragweed-allergy program appears to be dead, at least for the medium term, with the company saying it's not spending any "significant additional resources" in this area until it can answer some questions about why the drug's phase 3 trial went south. The cause for the trial's failure may have been the patient population chosen for the study rather than the drug itself, so the company does have some room to bring the program back. Without Tolamba, though, most of Dynavax's focus is going to be on Heplisav; phase 3 trials of the drug are expected to be completed sometime in 2008.
Considering the potential of its hepatitis B vaccine and its low $200 million market capitalization, this company is still intriguing. There's also the strong possibility of a lucrative collaboration agreement for the drug down the road, given that management has said that such a partnership would "make a lot of sense." There are a lot of interesting development-stage pharmaceutical companies around, but shares of Dynavax may be worth a look for less risk-averse investors.
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