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: Agios Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AGIO) shares dropped by more than 10% earlier today after reporting financial results that included a wider-than-expected loss. The stock closed the day down about 8.5% from the previous close.
So What: The clinical stage biotech reported that its fourth-quarter revenue, which consists primarily of collaboration revenue from biotech goliath Celgene Corp (NASDAQ:CELG), totaled $14.6 million. That revenue performance was above the consensus target of $12 million. However, rising R&D expenses resulted in a loss of $0.76 per share, which was worse than Wall Street's guesstimate of a $0.55 loss.
Agios also reported that its full-year revenue reached $65.3 million in 2014, up from $25.5 million in 2013, and that its operating expenses totaled $119.5 million last year, up from $64.4 million in 2013.
The increase in R&D expenses were tied primarily the development of AG-120 and AG-221. Those drugs, which are being co-developed by Celgene, are both in phase 1 studies as treatments for blood cancers.
Agios expects to expand its AG-120 study in the first half of 2015 and expects results from earlier cohorts of its AG-120 study to be released by year's end. The company's AG-221 phase 1 study remains ongoing and Agios also expects to advance its AG-348 for PK deficiency into a phase 2 trial in the next two quarters.
Now what: Agios Pharmaceuticals appears to be very well-funded with $467 million in cash on the books at year's end. However, cancer trials are notoriously expensive and the failure rate of cancer drugs in these clinical trials eclipses 90%. Agios has a well-heeled partner in Celgene, which means that if AG-120 and AG-221 succeed in trials the company could receive substantial milestones and royalties. That is, however, a big if and that means that Agios is best-suited for only the most speculative investors.