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 Idera Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IDRA), a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on discovering novel drugs to modify immune responses through toll-like receptors, jumped as much as 13% after reporting its first-quarter results before the opening bell.
So what: For the quarter, Idera Pharmaceuticals reported just $3,000 in revenue (remember, this is a wholly clinical-stage biotech) and a net loss that more than doubled to $9.1 million, or $0.12 per share, from $4.1 million, or $0.15 per share in the year-ago period. Idera's shares outstanding ballooned from 27.6 million to 76 million from the year-ago quarter, thus the wider net loss but lower EPS loss. The primary culprit was a tripling in research and development costs to $6.9 million from $2.3 million. By comparison, Wall Street was expecting a narrower loss of $0.08 per share.
On the flipside, Idera's investors seem pleased with the company's clinical update, which included the ongoing evaluation of IMO-8400 in patients with Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia, as well as in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma who have the MYD88 L265P mutation, and were refractory or relapsed prior to the therapy. In addition, Idera filed for a mixed shelf offering of up to $200 million last night, potentially giving the company more working capital.
Now what: Idera's expansive pipeline or ability to raise cash have never really been an issue. The big issue has been in successfully getting its therapies deep into clinical trials. Idera has a history of diluting shareholders over time to raise the cash necessary to conduct its trials; and while the research is exciting and some of its early results have looked promising, there's just no assurance that Idera will succeed until we see these therapies make it into late-stage studies. As such, I would suggest you keep your distance until Idera gives us some tangible reasons to be excited vis-a-vis a therapy that makes it into late-stage trials.
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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