Shareholders of Organovo (NASDAQ:ONVO) know that the ride for this company's stock is always going to be bumpy. For a long time, in fact, there wasn't even a marketable product the 3-D bioprinting company was offering—just the hope of one.
That all changed a few weeks ago, when Organovo announced the launch of its first real product: the exVive 3D Human Liver Tissues. With this product, pharmaceutical companies send potential drugs to Organovo, who will then test the drugs against their liver tissues to detect possible toxicities.
If everything goes as planned, these tests could save pharmaceutical companies billions of dollars by killing potential drugs before ever starting the expensive approval process. Last week, CEO Keith Murphy went on CNBC to talk the technology up, and the market responded by sending shares over 15% higher.
So with the release of this potentially game-breaking technology, Organovo shareholders should get ready to see revenue sky-rocket during the next few quarters, right?
Well, not really. Read below to find out why.
Results from the release will take time to filter in
On December 4th, Organovo held a virtual investor conference to update potential shareholders with where the company was at. During that presentation, Murphy made it clear that even though the company has reportedly experienced strong demand since its product launch, those numbers won't show up right away.
"Because we have a long sales cycle...it can take six to twelve months to get a customer to a sales point...The revenue in the next quarters is actually not expected to be from post-launch contracts."
Instead, Murphy said, any and all revenue bumps that show up in the fourth quarter of 2014 or the first quarter of 2015 will be a result of the beta contracts that were signed prior to the launch of exVive 3D Liver Tissues.
Investors, therefore, will need to be willing to wait until at least until the fall of 2015 before getting a clear idea on how the initial launch of the liver tissues went.
For those wishing to read the tea leaves and draw conclusions from the beta-testers, Organovo has said that the median contract for the liver tissues was $175,000. Though it's impossible to know how much variability there was, this could give us some idea for how strong demand was back in April, before the official launch.
Growth, if it comes, will be slow and steady
Because it functions largely in the pharmaceutical industry, many investors may assume that the launch of the liver tissues will create an immediate opportunity to capture market share. Not so, says Murphy: "This is very different from a pharma launch, where you've spent a number of years building up...the data and have a proof on a drug ."
Instead, investors should expect a slow and steady acceptance to Organovo's technology. Murphy offered up this slide to show how market share capture will differentiate from what some health care investors may be used to.
All of this is to say: don't expect fireworks right out of the gate. While a product launch is exciting, and a 17% bump in one day—largely coming just from a CEO's appearance on CNBC—is great, there may be just as many downturns in the future.
Long-term investors need to remain focused on Organovo's ability to help drug companies cut their costs significantly—and the company's ability to remain one step ahead of the competition in terms of technology.
Brian Stoffel owns shares of Organovo. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.