New Biotech Names to Watch
Enanta made a name for itself with its development of hepatitis C drugs, collaborating with AbbVie (ABBV - Get Report) and Novartis (NVS) in the process. The company reported second quarter revenue of $1.2 million, well below the $36.6 million seen during the same period last year. These declines resulted from the company's upfront payment of $34 million from Novartis in early 2012. Tetraphase was a larger disappointment in the first quarterly earnings report after its IPO. The company is focusing its efforts on Eravacycline, which is a pill meant to treat multi-drug resistant infections (such as those seen in the urinary tract). Tetraphase reported first quarter net losses of $2.8 million (30 cents per share). While this was an improvement on the net loss of $4.7 million (52 cents per share) seen during the first quarter of 2012, these figures were lower than the 27-cent loss per share that was expected by analysts.
To be sure, we are still in the very early phases of development in both companies but with the widespread enthusiasm that marked recent biotech IPOs, the early signs suggest initial valuations were on the high side and that continued weakness is likely into the latter parts of the year. At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned. This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.