Why Anacor Pharmaceuticals Inc. Stock Briefly Dipped

Anacor dips despite the FDA approving a key drug. Find out why investors panicked following this approval.

Sean Williams
Sean Williams
Jul 8, 2014 at 2:29PM
Health Care

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 Anacor Pharmaceuticals (UNKNOWN:ANAC.DL), a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory medications, briefly dipped as much as 11% this morning following the Food and Drug Administration's approval of Kerydin as a treatment for onychomycosis of the toenails. Shares have since recovered and are now down just 1% as of this writing.

So what?: According to Anacor's early morning press release, the FDA has approved its topical solution known as Kerydin to treat a fungal infection of the toenail and nail bed that's found in approximately 35 million people in the U.S. According to Anacor's CEO Paul Berns "We expect to launch KERYDIN in the U.S., either alone or with a partner, as early as the end of this quarter." Based on a previous investor presentation from Anacor, the company believes Kerydin could have peak sales potential of beyond $1 billion.

Now what?: Normally we see a company move higher on an FDA approval, but two factors appear to be playing into today's drop. First, Anacor has rocketed higher in anticipation of this approval with shares rising from just $6 to yesterday's closing price of $16.74. In other words, it's not as if the market hasn't already factored in some of the optimism surrounding Kerydin. The other factor at work here is Berns' commentary about finding a partner. I suspect some investors are disappointed that the smaller Anacor has yet to find an established partner for its drug and they're worried about launch and execution risk. Personally, I'm excited for Anacor and its shareholders, but I share both of these aforementioned concerns. I'd stick to the sidelines and wait for Anacor to get a few quarters of sales under its belt before even considering the idea of chasing this stock any higher.