This is proving to be a tough market and on Wednesday, my own biotech favorites took a hit. However, it's far better that I didn't buy Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) around $700/share or was guided by television talking heads into the so-called 'safer stocks.' It's why I like the 'down and dirty' biotech sector that gets labeled as 'high risk.' The daily swings in a biotech's stock price is not for the faint-hearted as Celsion (NASDAQ:CLSN) was bear-raided in a last ditch effort by whatever entities to sell and buy shares. But then there's Antares (NASDAQ:ATRS), a recent biotech to break out of a multi-month churning channel with a future that makes it an amazing moderate-risk, high-growth stock. Here is something to chew on about Antares going into Thursday.
First, Antares will be reporting additional revenue in Q4 2012, thanks to a milestone payment by collaborating partner Pfizer (NYSE:PFE). That amount, $750,000 is going to show that Antares isn't just another injector firm, but a savvy company that is building a growing revenue base Q/Q. After all, isn't a debt-free firm with $88M in cash worth a good look?
Second, the Pfizer project has been the banter of a lot of speculation. I like speculation and I've made more than a few guesses, but the word from Antares is that it will become known the day Pfizer's clinical trial for this over-the-counter product is registered for view on clinicaltrials.gov. Yes, Antares is no ordinary injector company, not when you have Pfizer front-loading what many surmise is going to result in substantial revenue infusion by 2016. The same could be said for Antares' NestraGel product that the Population Council has advertised as potentially the next gel contraceptive; since I like reading, I also understand that there may be a male product buried in there somewhere, but only time will tell. What we do know is that Pfizer has made a major commitment to Antares.
Third, meanwhile this not so ordinary injector firm is already collecting revenue for Elestrin recently announced by MEDA as their lead product in a deal with Jazz (NASDAQ:JAZZ). Moreover, there's Anatares' Gelnique 3% that is on an early growth path promoted by Watson (WPI) and has gained entry into South Korea, thanks to Daewoong. But Antares is an injector firm and that's why Teva (NYSE:TEVA) has been committing resources into its Tev-Tropin product that is on a course to add a 10 mg injector sometime in 2013. Here's something to chew on: all three of these products are still growing Q/Q and Teva, Watson, and MEDA have all noted how Antares' products are essential to their own profit strategy.
Fourth, Antares is a fascinating company once you realize that its partnership with Teva will soon be producing a number of enviable products such as: epinephrine, sumatriptan, and a number of undisclosed products that many think will ultimately end up including Teva's trophy drug Copaxone. This reminds you that Antares isn't just another injector company, not when Teva has highlighted how Antares' injector has 'injected' higher sales and significant market traction for Tev-Tropin. There are a number of very fascinating biosimilars that Teva is committed to bringing to the market, but the packaging of these drugs are necessitating Teva to package them in injector form. Recently, Antares' "two-stage reconstituting injector" caught my eye because it simplifies an otherwise complicated challenge and could eventually end up in home use. And that's where Antares is scoring because Teva not only wants Antares' technology, it needs a company that is leading the way for "hazardous agents" in Teva's biosimilar product line.
Fifth, some voices apparently don't know how Antares has been on a growing Q/Q revenue path and is closing in on two internal projects that if approved by the FDA will launch the company's revenue stream into net positive for years to come. What are we speaking of? Otrexup and Vibex QS T. Otrexup has been submitted to the FDA and will be the first methotrexate injectable for arthritis and psoriasis patients that will be virtually pain-free and safe to use at home. If anyone has ever seen an arthritis-crippled hand, they will understand Otrexup not only will deliver a higher dose that avoids a good number of nasty side effects, but will deliver methotrexate in a safe and near pain-free manner. Otrexup is going to be called to make a lot of arthritis and psoriasis patients much happier. As for Vibex QS T (testosterone), that product is down-the-line, but it's easy to see how Antares has a serious game-plan in motion to build a Y/Y revenue stream. Along with its Canadian partner Uman for Otrexup, Antares may have a natural reach through Uman into South America. Many, and I'm among them, think that Antares will secure a partner(s) for Europe and Asia.
Recently the share price experienced a lift after months of churning followed by an expected retrace. Given the recent market turmoil, it's encouraging to see how the share price held $4.14. Why is that? Well, while biotech investing is always risky, investors know that Pfizer's $750,000 milestone is going to show up in 2012 revenue results. It's also expected that with three products all adding additional revenue, the relationship with Teva is also promising an increasing revenue stream right through 2013. The greatest risk to Antares beyond the usual market turmoil might be a voice that neither understands nor has taken the time to study how Antares is a diverse product company with a narrowing technology vision that is transforming how Teva is extending its market edge and protecting its key products through eventual Orange Book entry.
Finally, I maintain a strong buy and expect the recent pull-back will bring in new buyers who discover that due diligence on this firm is essential to priding yourself for finding a great growth stock opportunity. With the Pfizer revelation imminent, I wouldn't want to miss what should be a nice bump for the share price and apparently the same could be said for Teva's 'Pen 2' product that will come to light in 2013. All told, the Antares story is a savvy investment.
Disclosure: I am long CVM, ATRS, QCOR, CLSN. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
Additional disclosure: Investors buy and/or sell at their own risk. You are warned not to use this article for individual investment advice. You are warned that you could lose your entire investment by trading in the stock market. This article is for entertainment purposes only. For me 'long' is until I sell. I do not 'short' stocks. I declare that I may trade (buy and/or sell) any stock at any time mentioned in this article.