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Why Halozyme Therapeutics Inc. Shares Jumped

By Sean Williams - Sep 27, 2013 at 2:22PM

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Halozyme reaches a milestone, and Roche gladly opens up its wallet.

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 Halozyme Therapeutics (HALO -2.29%), a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing human enzymes for clinical benefit purposes, jumped as much as 15% following the official launch of Roche's (RHHBY 0.53%) Herceptin SC in Europe.

So what: Why does this matter? Because Roche's newly approved subcutaneous injection of Herceptin -- which can be given in a fraction of the time that the standard IV can -- utilizes Halozyme's recombinant human hyaluronidase. As such, the official launch of Herceptin SC in Europe triggered a $10 million milestone payment from Roche to Halozyme, bumping Halozyme's net cash position up to $55 million (based on its most recent quarterly filing).  

Now what: Everyone loves a good milestone payment, but a $150 million market cap boost for a $10 million payment might be a bit steep. Expectations are high surrounding Herceptin SC -- as they should be -- since the drug could remarkably increase patient convenience. Now we need to see how well its launch is actually executed before we get too excited. I'd certainly advocate adding Halozyme Therapeutics to your watchlist, but as an investment at these levels I still see plenty of questions that are only going to be answered by watching and waiting a few quarters to see if sales take off.

Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.

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Stocks Mentioned

Roche Holding AG Stock Quote
Roche Holding AG
$41.79 (0.53%) $0.22
Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. Stock Quote
Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc.
$43.46 (-2.29%) $-1.02

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