What: Shares of Halozyme Therapeutics (NASDAQ:HALO), a company focused on developing human enzymes, managed to bounce back from a rough summer. The company saw its stock post a gain of more than 14% in the month of October, according to data from S&P Capital IQ.
So what: It was a fairly low key month for the company on the news front, but toward the end of October the company saw its shares shoot higher after it announced that it successfully dosed its first patient in a new Phase 1 clinical trial. The trial is evaluating the experimental compound rivipansel, which is currently under development by Halozyme's partner Pfizer (NYSE:PFE). This new experimental compound utilizes Halozyme's enhanze technology and is the first product candidate to enter clinical trials under its collaboration deal with Pfizer.
Aside from this trial, Pfizer is also currently in phase 3 trials studying rivipansel as a potential treatment for patients hospitalized with vaso-occlusive crisis of sickle cell disease. Vaso-occlusive crisis is a severe complication of sickle cell disease that can lead to acute ischemic tissue injury and can cause inflammation and pain.
The initiation of this new trial triggered a small $1 million milestone payment made by Pfizer to to Halozyme.
Now what: Halozyme continues to be a rare small cap biotech that offers investors both revenue coming in the door today and huge additional upside if its PEGPH20 compound eventually pays off. The company also recently reported its third quarter results, and while the company is still firmly in money losing mode, it appears to have plenty of financial fire power at its disposal to run operations for years without needing to tap shareholders for additional capital. Add in the fact that the company plays well with its competitors, and I continue to believe that Halozyme is a good choice for the more speculative portion of your portfolio.