What: 2015 was a great year to be a Zogenix (NASDAQ:ZGNX) shareholder. The clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company's stock soared more than 29% higher during the year, according to data from S&P Capital IQ.
So what: The year was filled with positive developments that got the stock moving in the right direction. Here are a few highlights:
- In March, Zogenix sold its chronic pain drug Zohydro ER to Pernix Therapeutics (NASDAQ: PTX) for $100 million up front. Pernix assumed all future sales and regulatory development for Zohydro ER and also agreed to make additional payments to Zogenix if certain milestones are met. If everything goes well, Pernix could pay an additional $183.5 million to Zogenix, which values the transaction at $283.5 million.
- In May, the company presented new data from a five-year study of ZX008, the company's experimental treatment for Dravet Syndrome. The data showed that 80% of patients experienced at least a 75% reduction in seizure frequency each year, with no patients discontinuing treatment due to adverse events.
- In June, the company performed a 1-for-8 reverse stock split that helped its share price get out of penny stock land.
- In July, the company raised an additional $85.5 million through a common stock offering.
- In September, Zogenix reported positive top-line results in a Phase 1b trial of Relday, the company's experimental anti-psychotic that promises once-a-month dosing. Relday was shown to hold risperidone plasma concentrations throughout the four-month trial period. Those results were good enough to lead the company to believe a phase 3 study was warranted. Currently, Zogenix's management team is searching for a partner to help fund the phase 3 study -- and eventually commercialize the drug if it get approved.
- In December, the FDA accepted Zogenix's Investigational New Drug application -- or IND -- for ZX008, which allows the company to proceed with its planned phase 3 trial.
Now what: With all of this great clinical news reported during the year, it's no wonder shareholders bid up the company's shares. In addition, the sale of Zohydro ER to Pernix Therapeutics mixed with the common stock offering has put the company on solid financial footing -- the company ended September with $162 million in cash on its books. That amount of capital should provide plenty of time to find a partner for Relday and continue to advance ZX008 down the clinical pathway.
While Zogenix remains a high-risk stock, it might be worth taking a small nibble on shares if the company is able to land a big-name partner for Relday, or if it reports positive results for its phase 3 trial of ZX008. If either of those events occur, I could easily see its shares having another great year.