Aratana Therapeutics (Nasdaq: PETX) Delays Launch and Shares Plummet

Aratana Therapeutics, Inc. – Nasdaq: PETX

Aratana Therapeutics Inc. announced that its Entyce product (capromorelin oral solution), approved in May of 2016 by the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, will not be hit the market until late 2017. Entyce is an oral liquid approved to treat dogs who have lost their desire to eat, a condition affecting ten million canines annually. The announcement sent its shares, traded on the Nasdaq under ticker PETX, sliding over 18% in early trading on heavy volumes. PETX ended Friday’s session at $8.03 and gapped down to open at $7.23 as traders reacted to the announcement of the delay.

Leawood, KS-based Aratana Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. Aratana develops, licenses, and markets pet therapeutics for dogs and cats. The stated vision of Aratana is to find human drug development opportunities and apply them to veterinary medicine, specifically to advance therapeutics for pets. Aratana believes there is a gap in the availability of innovative treatments for serious diseases or chronic conditions in dogs and cats when compared to the market for humans – they claim that development typically lags years behind human health.

Rumors abound that Aratana is a possible acquisition after the Mars Incorporated acquired Aratana Therapeutics competitor VCA Antech (Nasdaq: WOOF) for $8 billion. Mars could be now receiving more than half its revenues from pet related sales. This continues a trend that reflects the fact that the average family size is shrinking while spending for pets continues its steady growth – pet healthcare expenditures have risen around 20% in just over two years.

PETX is trading at over three times its normal average daily volume in early morning action. Analysts from five firms follow PETX shares. Four rate PETX as a “Strong Buy” and one rates the shares as a “Hold”. Their consensus price target is $11.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

2/6/2017
Ticker Symbol PETX
Last Price a/o 10:24 AM EST  $                      6.64
Average Volume                    412,220
Market Cap (mlns)  $                  292.69
Sales (mlns) $38.30
Shares Outstanding (mlns) 36.45
Share Float (mlns) 35.32
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 2.60%
Short Float 8.77%
Short Interest Ratio 7.52
Quarterly Return 1.90%
YTD Return 11.84%
Year Return 123.68%

Cerulean Pharma (Nasdaq: CERU) Shares Rise on Sale Speculation

Cerulean Pharma, Inc. – Nasdaq: CERU

An announcement by the Board of Cerulean Pharma to explore strategic alternatives has sent shares higher on speculation that a sale may be in the works. CERU, traded on the Nasdaq under ticker CERU, ended trading Thursday at $0.93 and have reached a high of $1.49 in early trading on heavy volumes. The announcement was likely due to a Phase 2 clinical trial failure, in August, which led to Cerulean cutting half its workforce.

Waltham, MA-based Cerulean Pharma develops products to improve treatment options for cancer victims. The company developed the Dynamic Tumor Targeting™ Platform designed to selectively attack tumor cells, reduce toxicity by sparing the body’s normal cells, and enable therapeutic combinations. Cerulean’s lead platform-generated NDC clinical candidate, CRLX101, is in multiple clinical trials. Our lead indication is ovarian cancer. Our second platform-generated NDC clinical candidate, CRLX301, is in Phase 2a clinical development for the treatment of advanced solid tumors.

Cerulean sales peaked in 2012 when the company posted a figure of $600k. No sales were reported for 2015. CERU shares have never experienced positive EPS – losing more than $1.20 EPS in each of the past five years. CERU lost $1.56 EPS in 2015. Three firms rate CEU shares. One rates them as a “Strong Buy”, and the other rates CERU as a “Hold”. Their consensus price target is $1.50.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

2/3/2017
Ticker Symbol CERU
Last Price a/o 9:23 AM EST  $                      1.34
Average Volume                    328,570
Market Cap (mlns)  $                    25.49
Sales (mlns)
Shares Outstanding (mlns) 27.38
Share Float (mlns) 24.66
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 1.30%
Short Float 2.68%
Short Interest Ratio 2.01
Quarterly Return 24.82%
YTD Return 31.46%
Year Return -58.99%

GenVec Inc. (Nasdaq: GNVC) Acquired – Shares rise 40%+

GenVec Inc. – Nasdaq: GNVC

Nano-cap GenVec Inc. shares are up over 40% today on news that Intrexon Corporation (NYSE: XON) that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Germantown, MD-based GenVec, Inc. (Nasdaq: GNVC), a clinical-stage company and pioneer in the development of AdenoVerse™ gene delivery technology.

Thomas D. Reed, Ph.D., Intrexon’s chief science officer commented, “Our acquisition of GenVec will mark our continuing commitment to add gene delivery platforms that complement our multigenic control systems. Intrexon’s proficiency in using various viral as well as non-viral transfer techniques to integrate our gene programs affords us the capability to pursue an array of in vivo and ex vivo gene and cell therapy approaches, and the addition of a helper-dependent adenoviral system with a substantial payload capacity dramatically expands the types of in vivo therapeutic programs we can pursue.”

GenVec stockholders will receive 0.297 of a share of Intrexon Common Stock in exchange for each share of GenVec common stock. This exchange ratio represents $7.00 per share of GenVec’s common stock based on Intrexon’s 5-day volume weighted average price as of January 23, 2017. GenVec stockholders will also receive a right to contingent consideration equal to 50% of any milestone or royalty payments received within 36 months after the closing of the transaction under GenVec’s Research Collaboration and License Agreement with Novartis.

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

1/24/2017
Ticker Symbol GNVC
Last Price a/o 3:27 PM EST  $                      1.93
Average Volume 445,400
Market Cap $10.17 million
Sales $600k
Shares Outstanding 2.24 million
Share Float 1.72 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable No
Inside Ownership 1.10%
Short Float 3.04%
Short Interest Ratio 0.12
Quarterly Return 19.47%
YTD Return 41.43%
Year Return -12.69%

aTyr Pharma (Nasdaq: LIFE) Gets Product Fast-Tracked at FDA

aTyr Pharma, Inc. – Nasdaq: LIFE 

San Diego, CA-based aTyr Pharma, Inc. shares (Nasdaq: LIFE) were up over 30% in today’s trading on news that that its product candidate Resolaris™ was granted Fast Track designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of limb girdle muscular dystrophy 2B (LGMD2B), making it the first known therapeutic candidate for the treatment of LGMD2B to receive the designation. In addition, the FDA removed its partial clinical hold on a dosing ceiling for Resolaris in clinical trials. 

aTyr Pharma. is a biotherapeutics company that develops Physiocrine-based therapeutics for patients suffering from severe and rare diseases. John Mendlein, PhD, CEO of aTyr Pharma commented on the news – “This Fast Track designation, which is granted to drug candidates addressing serious conditions and that demonstrate the potential to address unmet medical needs, represents another step forward for our first product candidate based on the Physiocrine pathway. Combined with our Phase1b/2 data in LGMD2B, adult facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) and early onset FSHD patients, we believe we are building a clinical and regulatory foundation for future development of Resolaris to treat patients across multiple rare genetic myopathies with an immune component.” 

aTyr Pharma has no reported sales and LIFE shares have had negative EPS since 2012. In 2015 aTyr Pharma reported an EPS loss of $2.03. Three firms follow aTyr Pharma and all rate LIFE shares as a “Hold” with a consensus price target of $6. 

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

1/18/2017
Ticker Symbol LIFE
Last Price a/o 4:00 PM EST  $                      3.25
Average Volume 170,000
Market Cap $77 million
Sales
Shares Outstanding 23.72 million
Share Float 23.15 million
Shortable Yes
Optionable No
Inside Ownership 1.60%
Short Float 23.15%
Short Interest Ratio 4.08
Quarterly Return 20.37%
YTD Return 51.16%
Year Return -45.92%