It's been quite the year for the biopharmaceutical company Sirtris Pharmaceuticals
The study, which was published in the scientific journal Cell, revealed a new mechanism to slow aging. The study found that by increasing the levels of the molecule NAD+ in the cells of rodents, those cells became more resistant to DNA damage. That resistance required sirtuin proteins, a target that Sirtris has been using for drug development to treat diseases of aging; thus, the connection to the paper and the jump in stock price.
For Fools interested in adding some zing to their portfolio in the form of a small-cap biopharmaceutical, Sirtris presents an alluring opportunity. Just last month, the company initiated phase 2 clinical studies for a product aimed at combating Type 2 diabetes. Given the unmet need in this area, the diabetes field has also recently become the R&D focus of many of the large-cap pharmaceutical companies such as Bristol-Myers Squibb
Sirtris expects to end the year with about $115 million in cash and short-term investments. This amount is more than ample to absorb net losses comparable to its Q2 loss of $6.6 million for some time to come. Its diabetes progress, coupled with this anti-aging study, should hammer home the notion that this small-cap stock is anything but a flier.
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