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 Radius Health (NASDAQ: RDUS), a pharmaceutical company focused on developing products designed to treat osteoporosis, were up more than 17% today on heavy trading volume after the company posted positive clinical data related to their investigational drug abaloparatide.
So what: In the release, the company noted that patients who previously completed the 18 month long phase 3 ACTIVE clinical trial that were now participating in the follow on ACTIVExtend trial experienced no new vertebral fractures through the first 6 month of the follow on trial. In total, the 25 month long study period of abaloparatide-SC, which is the injectable form of the companies drug abaloparatide, continued to show positive clinical outcomes including huge reductions in vertebral, non-vertebral, clinical and major osteoporotic fractures.
The company believes that these trials show that the drug has met the primary and secondary endpoints, which are essential to helping the company prepare the drug for regulatory submission.
Now what: Investors were correct to cheer the news today, which may help the company get one step closer to bringing their first drug to market. Osteoporosis is a huge problem, as the International Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that more than 200 million people worldwide have the disease, which is responsible for more then 8.9 million fractures annually. Treating the disease is big business, as in 2014 alone global sales of osteoporosis therapies totaled $6.4 billion, with $2.3 billion of that number coming from injectable drugs.
Radius is trying to enter a big market, but investors should remember that Radius is still a high risk company that is currently burning more than $60 million in operating cash per year as it works to develop abaloparatide. However, with more than $230 million in cash on the balance sheet, the company appears to have plenty of reserves for the next few years as they work to bring their first drug to market.
Looking ahead, analysts are bullish on the potential for abaloparatide, and the peak sales estimates I have seen are pretty close to or maybe a little above a billion dollars. While there is still plenty of work to do before the company will see any revenue from this drug, today's announcement is certainly a great sign for the company.
Brian Feroldi has no position in any stocks mentioned. 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.