Earlier this week, development-stage biopharma Affymax (NASDAQ:AFFY) announced its first-quarter financial results after barely six months as a public company.

Affymax's lead compound is the red blood cell stimulating agent Hematide, which is being tested as a treatment for anemia caused by cancer, and other indications such as kidney disease. Affymax announced positive phase 2 study results for Hematide last month, and it's pushing the compound into phase 3 testing later this year.

Affymax has a rock-solid balance sheet, and its $230 million in cash and investments will be more than enough to fund the multiple clinical trials in which Hematide will be tested, since Takeda will be funding much of the drug's development.

Shares of Affymax are down roughly 15% in just the month of May, but that doesn't mean investors won't get an even bigger sales opportunity on shares of Affymax. Recent developments with Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) and its erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESA) Aranesp and Epogen, which have been the catalyst for these share price declines, may not seem like good news for Affymax. But the safety issues with these compounds present an opportunity for Affymax's Hematide, since there is a need for improved ESAs.

The most interesting drug stocks to follow can be the ones that have recently gone public, since their share prices are guaranteed to be volatile, creating either buying or shorting opportunities as investor enthusiasm waxes and wanes. Affymax is even more interesting because of its history and pedigree -- it was founded by Alejandro Zaffaroni. I'm not on the Affymax bandwagon yet, but investors should pay close attention to the future clinical trial results that Hematide will produce and how Affymax's share price reacts.

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Fool contributor Brian Lawler does not own shares of any company mentioned in this article. The Fool has a disclosure policy.