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Anadys' Stock Sale Doesn't Just Dilute

The firm estimated elsewhere in its note that the funds raised should be enough to sustain operations through mid-2012, and said its thesis on the stock assumes ANA598 has the potential for peak sales of $970 million as part of a combination with a larger partner with Anadys getting royalties of 20%. Wedbush puts the probability of ANA598 reaching the market at 55%.

Unsurprisingly, the tone of ThinkEquity's note is much harsher, as the firm not only downgraded the stock, it cut its price target to $2 from $7, noting that Anadys's inability to stir up interest in ANA598 is especially disturbing given how much industry interest there's been in hepatitis C programs of late, as illustrated by Roche Holdings's deal for the rights to danoprevir with Intermune (ITMN) earlier this month, and Bristol-Myers Squibb's (BMY) agreement to acquire ZymoGeneticsTICKER TYPE="EQUITY" SYMBOL="ZYGO"/> in early September.

"We have always believed that the lack of interest by Wall Street did not reflect a lack of interest by big pharma," ThinkEquity said. "However since Anadys has come back to the capital markets for a financing, we can only conclude that our thesis was incorrect and that the pharma world is actually less interested in ANA598 than the public markets."

Talks will apparently continue about strategic deals, but barring a change in the market's attitude, Anadys could be dead money for a while with 24-week response and safety results from the Phase 2b trial of ANA598 not expected to surface until the fourth quarter of 2011, according to ThinkEquity.

The lone potential catalyst for the stock in the near term could be additional results from the phase 2a trial of the drug, which are due in the current fourth quarter. Noble Financial, which maintained its buy rating but cut its 12-month price target on the stock to $3.50 from $5 on Friday, said there's still a possibility for a partnership to surface if the data is strong enough, and it's hopeful it will be.

"The antiviral data presented so far is encouraging and in our view improves the outlook for potential partnerships," Noble said in its note.

The next dates worth paying attention to for Anadys believers will be the company's release of its third-quarter results on Oct. 25, and the American Association Study of Liver Disease meeting taking place from Oct. 29-Nov.2, where Noble thinks the next batch of phase 2a data could surface.

-- Written by Michael Baron in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Michael Baron.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to:
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.
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