This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Biotech Mailbag: NeurogesX Patchy at Best

The Biotech Mailbag opens this week with an email from Dean M.

"Any thoughts about NeurogesX's (NGSX) positive phase III data for post-herpetic neuralgia and their pending applications in Europe and the U.S.?"

NeurogesX is a tiny drugmaker with a pain patch, NGX-4010, that applies a synthetic form of capsaicin (yes, the hot stuff from chili peppers) directly to the site of pain. NGX-4010 provides longer-lasting relief than other pain patches and creams, and it does so without significant side effects.

The company is seeking Food and Drug Administration approval for NGX-4010 as a treatment for post-herpetic neuralgia, or nerve pain associated with shingles. The company filed a new drug application Oct. 22 and hasn't yet announced whether the agency has accepted the filing. The FDA has 60 days to accept or reject a new drug application filing, so NeurogesX should have something more to say toward the end of December.

NGX-4010 is also under review by European regulators, with an approval decision expected in the first half of next year.

All of this seems good, yet NeurogesX shares, at $1.60, are barely above the company's cash on hand. So what gives?

Well, NeurogesX is going to have to raise some money fairly soon, which in this market is a black mark. And there are questions about how the company plans to commercialize the pain patch if approved here or in Europe. A domestic sales force is going to cost money to build (hence the need to raise cash or find a co-promote partner here) while across the pond, NeurogesX definitely needs to find a partner.

The commercial market for pain patches, pills and ointments can be tricky. The space holds some big competitors, like Pfizer (PFE) and many smaller ones, like Endo Pharmaceuticals (ENDP). How well will tiny NeurogesX compete, especially if NGX-4010's label is restricted, at least initially, to treating shingles-related nerve pain?

The best thing that could happen to NeurogesX is to be gobbled up by a larger drugmaker with an existing pain drug franchise. Absent that, my sense is that investors in this market will be gun-shy with this stock until they see tangible results. Don't forget that the FDA is a fickle place these days when it comes to new drug approvals, and the pain-drug area is notorious for delays.

1 of 5

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
NGSX $0.01 0.00%
AMGN $162.59 0.00%
DCTH $1.01 0.00%
GILD $101.00 0.00%
INGN $31.89 0.00%

Markets

DOW 17,712.66 +34.43 0.19%
S&P 500 2,061.02 +4.87 0.24%
NASDAQ 4,891.2190 +27.8570 0.57%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs