What I would like to accomplish with this article is to show the average investor why I think Antares Pharma (ATRS) is a long-term winner of a stock. First of all, let me emphasize that I am long in this stock and by no means am I trying to pump or give you fictitious information to persuade you to buy. Now let me try to explain what management has laid out in their near-term agenda and let's see if you can come to some of the same conclusions as I have.
Management announced, back on 10/3/12, a public offering of 12 million shares for $4 that caught a lot of investors, including myself, by surprise. I say surprised because they already have $32 million in the bank, totally debt free, have royalties coming in from Watson Pharma (WPI), Pfizer (PFE), a strong and long working relationship with Teva Pharma (TEVA) and whole list of upcoming goodies as you can see on their pipeline chart. So again, why raise almost $50 million? Well after long speculation and then confirmed on the last conference call which can be viewed here through their latest 10K, it's fairly simple.
Management has had a passion for some time now to do Vibex MTX alone without a partner. I will get into the details of what exactly MTX is in a moment, but first let's concentrate on what it means to take on such a task as MTX alone. When you do not have a partner to help share with the expenses, you have to either have a large line of credit, which involves a longer process of getting funding with all the paper work and regulation or you can simply do a public offering. The CEO of Antares, Mr. Paul Wotton, has elected to take the company solo with MTX, which I believe to be a knock out drug come market time. Now by doing it alone, all the royalties stay at home and that's a good thing if you are a shareholder. So far, in the time I have invested in Antares and as far back as I have studied Mr. Wotton's past business decisions, he has made very good on his strong executions to take this company forward. I have no reason to doubt him now.
Now let's simply look at what Vibex MTX can do for us long-term shareholders. Rheumatoid Arthritis or RA is a condition that currently affects nearly 2 million people in the U.S. alone. The demographics of people affected cuts across a broad spectrum. While there are a number of treatment options available for RA, each can involve potential risks from side effects to the patient. Often, more significant, is that the cost of some of these treatments puts them out of the reach of many RA patients. This is where management sees big opportunity and personally, I do too. Methotrexate or MTX as it is commonly known was first used to treat RA over 50 years ago and has been commonly prescribed for nearly 30 years. Today it serves as the gold standard for RA treatment with over 5 million prescriptions in the U.S. annually. It is a proven, effective and affordable method of treatment that has stood the test of time by providing relief to millions of patients over the years. With Antares's self injection drug, this should make them a powerhouse of a pharma stock in the coming future. And to add, these figures do not even include the huge potential for overseas sales in markets such as Europe.
Filing for the ANDA for MTX is in the 1Q of 2013, but as management says they are way ahead of schedule, I, like others, think it could happen a lot sooner. With the process of clinical trials taking 8-12 months with no hold ups by the FDA, we could possibly see sales as soon as the 1Q of 2014 but no later than 2Q. I think this date serves so well with what management is trying to accomplish, especially with Antares's PR guy, Jack Howarth, saying "2014 will be our break out year." So you are probably asking yourself why should you invest now, if there is not going to be any possible significant move in the share price until 2014. Well, I have had this conversation repeatedly with others. The best answer I can give you is Antares has many irons in the fire. We still have an unknown OTC drug with Pfizer and several NDAs with Teva. We still have the possibility of Nestra-Gel which most investors, including myself, have almost written off.
At the current price of $3.73 and with the low risk involved, it's almost impossible to not buy the stock here. I would warn though, with the new Fiscal Cliff talks in Washington, there could be some wild swings in the market for the upcoming weeks and when that happens, no stock is safe. Meaning, you could possibly get a better entry point. But, if you are looking for that cheap stock with loads of potential and hardly any risk involved, then Antares should suit you well. Lastly, take a look at the two year chart and look at the bold bull run we are in. Looking at the chart, you can tell there is a lot of optimism for the future of Antares and I plan on being with them every step of the way.