The company was highlighted just a few days ago in a Wall St. Cheat Sheet article by Tom Meyer titled "4 Promising Biotech Stocks With Upcoming Catalysts", with Soligenix positioned as a business poised for future growth, alongsideGlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK), Sarepta Therapeutics(NASDAQ:SRPT) and Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD).
Soligenix is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing products to treat inflammatory diseases and biodefense countermeasures where there remains an unmet medical need.
"Over the past couple of months, the stock has been attracting significant investor attention because of its strong fundamentals and deep pipeline. During the recent quarterly report, the company announced that it had approximately $8.1 million in cash available. Given that the company's quarterly burn rate is only about $1.25 million, that cash should be enough to take the company into early 2015 before any additional secondary offerings are filed," Meyer wrote in the piece.
He added that the company is also to benefit in its share price from several "imminent" catalysts, including a potential multi-million dollar contract award from BARDA (Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority).
Earlier this year, Soligenix submitted a full proposal for the contract to develop OrbeShield into an FDA-approved tablet. The drug is designed to be used as a countermeasure for the gastrointestinal effects of acute radiation syndrome, which happens after toxic radiation exposure and involves several organ systems, notably the bone marrow, the GI tract, and the lungs.
The biopharmaceutical company, which has a portfolio of programs targeting indications that each have at least $200 million plus of worldwide market potential, has two clinical programs in the spotlight right now, including SGX942, a drug designed to treat oral mucositis, a debilitating side effect of cancer therapies such as radiation or chemo, in head and neck cancer patients. The drug is coming upon its phase II trial, expected to start by the end of the year, after recently receiving investigational new drug (NYSE:IND) clearance from the U.S. FDA.
Meyer took note of the fact that given that there is no drug currently approved for oral muscositis in head and neck cancer, the market potential is "staggering". "Another positive is that the company is collaborating with SciClone Pharmaceuticals in China. This collaboration should help the company with marketing and regulatory issues and speed the way to an eventual FDA approval."
Its pediatric Crohn's candidate is another area of significant market potential, as there are some 160,000 children and adolescents with Crohn's worldwide. The drug, a two-tablet proprietary formulation of immediate- and delayed-release oral BDP (beclomethasone 17, 21-dipropionate), is anticipated to be tested in a 150-subject phase 2/3 study in North America, as well as potential sites in Europe. The drug is positioned as a corticosteroid, with less toxicity than the current standard therapy of systemic steroid, prednisone.
"If Soligenix can demonstrate efficacy while minimizing risks, this could potentially be another home run for the company," wrote Meyer.
The company has also caught the eye of life sciences billionaire Randal Kirk with its development of a treatment for high-priority government biothreat melioidosis, a contagion which has the potential for widespread dissemination through aerosol. In May,Soligenix signed an exclusive worldwide collaboration agreement with Kirk's Intrexon, which earlier this month completed a hugely successful IPO, for the development of a treatment for the disease.
Shares of Soligenix are up more than 176 per cent so far this year, and are rising steadily in Tuesday trade, already up over 6.7 per cent this morning, at $1.75. Meyer noted in his article that the company, along with the other three biotech stocks analyzed in the article, should see a lot of investor interest in the next few months and "potentially a large share-price appreciation".
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.