Antares (AIS) almost broke even in Q1 2012 as the company reported:
Net loss was approximately $0.1 million and $1.4 million for the first quarters of 2012 and 2011, respectively, and net loss per share was $0.00 and $0.02 in the first quarters of 2012 and 2011, respectively.
I am satisfied with this result because I did not expect more. Moreover, to Antares' credit, the company remains debt-free and reported having $33.2M in cash reserves. Well done.
After losing LibiGel in December 2011, the company reported earlier in April that its Vibex epinephrine injector would be marketed in 2015 as the result of the Teva (TEVA) v. Pfizer (PFE) litigation settlement. Softening the delayed blow, the company reported this week:
Announced the settlement of the epinephrine auto-injector litigation between our partner Teva and Pfizer, and executed a separate agreement under which Teva has agreed to provide us with device orders in 2013 and 2014 as well as a milestone payment upon FDA approval of the product. Announced the settlement of the epinephrine auto-injector litigation between our partner Teva and Pfizer, and executed a separate agreement under which Teva has agreed to provide us with device orders in 2013 and 2014 as well as a milestone payment upon FDA approval of the product (Ibid).
I am aware that investor sentiment does not agree with my perspective that this was a negative development. I remain of the opposite opinion as Intelliject markets their epinephrine product this year and it's incredibly novel. Nevertheless, I understand the majority of Antares investors disagree with my opinion.
Meanwhile, Antares continues to move forward and surprised investors with news that its new Vibex QS injector is targeting low male testosterone. I admit to feeling disappointed as there are a great many other rumors surrounding DiaPep277, Copaxone, among others. Why I am disappointed is because I expected a block-buster target. I'll wait for SA Larry Smith to explain why the male testosterone market is so lucrative. That said, I'd like to quote from a SA poster who is passionate about Vibex opportunities:
Pen #1 --- Interferon ----Patent US200902922 -- annual sales approx - 500mill/yr ( as noted by PW) at a low return of 10% returns --- $50 million/yr
Pen #2 ---- DiaPep277----Patent USPO 8162886 - --- - annual sales 1.0 billion /yr (as noted by PW), at 15% for a low return for injector and product sales = $150 million/yr
VibexQS - Teva - 1 --- Patent # - US20120004608--- -- Neutroval --- (BioSimilar to Neupogen) ---ROW market -- annual sales 900 million/yr at 10 % for a low return for injector and product sales = $90 million/yr
VibexQS - Teva - 2 --- Patent # -- US20120004608 -- Balugrastim (Durgranin) --- (BioBetter to Neuastula) --Initially US and EU Market-- annual sales 900 million/yr at 10 % for a low return for injector and product sales = $90 million/yr
VibexQS- ( 1 or 2) Antares = Patent # -- US20120004608 ---- Copaxone (20 and 40 mg) = annual sales 500 million/yr at 30 % for a low return for injector and product sales = $150 million/yr
Regarding NestraGel, a comment is warranted. I've read opinions on chat boards that a major pharma could move NestraGel to the market in no less than 2 years. Frankly, that is absolutely ludicrous. The phase 2 study was so small it may require a second, much larger study, and even if that didn't happen--and I think it would--anything that has to do with a woman's reproductive system is going to require thousands of clinical candidates and lengthy safety studies. I think it's absolutely irresponsible for anyone to suggest that NestraGel could suddenly leap-frog past the FDA with ONLY A VERY SMALL PHASE 2 STUDY. YIKES.
Therefore, until Antares issues its own press release on NestraGel, what gets said should be understood as nothing more than flatulent rumor by blow-bags. (And by the way, I like the concept NestraGel represents. I just implore investors to keep their feet on the ground. Yes, a deal should be lucrative, but let's not put the cart ahead of the horse.)
Furthermore, I'm still waiting for the buy-out rumored to come to fruition. Oh wait. Was that the Pfizer jet that just landed in Trenton? This kind of talk is incredibly deceptive and manipulative. Yet apparently someone continues to promote this idea on the chat boards. It's very sad to read this type of speculative self-promotion.
Irrespective, despite Vibex epinephrine's postponement and the disappointment suffered due to LibiGel's failure, Antares continues to march forward with its Vibex MTX development. The company reported that it hopes to file the NDA in Q1 2013 suggesting a 2014 launch is more than likely. This is the bright star in the Antares portfolio and the company remains in march-step forward. But don't expect renenues for at least two years from now.
A Word on Gelnique 3%
Here in Q2 2012, I expect this will be the quarter where Gelnique 3% helps Antares achieve net positive. Yes, you've read correctly. While I think wider market conditions could take Antares' share price below $3/share, I think the likelihood of that is growing less likely each day.
I expect in Q2, Antares investors may learn of a new Gelnique 3% partner(s), but even if they don't, the influx of revenue should push the company to net positive. Q2 could see a shelf-stocking phenomena which could mean a nice royalty check to Antares.
While I don't think Antares' share price is going to surge like others do, I have changed my opinion to thinking that the company has a fairly firm base above $3/share. Likewise, as the company continues to progress in the quarters to come, I would expect the share price to move toward the $4-6 range. But market conditions may slow this.
Congratulations to Antares investors because the rest of 2012 looks quite positive. I continue to follow the Arena (ARNA) story that received great news. This may have a negative impact on Vivus (VVUS) whose own FDA decision was postponed until July.