Shares in small-cap pharmaceutical stock Idera Pharmaceuticals (IDRA) continued their heavy losing streak on Thursday, down over 7.75 percent for losses in excess of 40 percent since March 18. The biggest chunk of that sell-off was motivated by news that Summer Street analysts weren’t impressed by Idera’s lead therapy, but losses have continued to mount since that information hit the markets on Monday.
Idera’s stock opened at $4.15 a share, off just under 1 percent from Wednesday’s close. However, the day proved a rocky one, as shares quickly plunged under $3.80, bounced, and then recovered to over the opening price, all in the first hour of trading. However, shares moved south again immediately after the recovery and stayed there, reaching a low of $3.67 for a loss of almost 12.5 percent. Moving into the last hour of trading, the stock had recovered to about $3.85 a share. Volume was heavy, with over 5.3 million shares moving by 3 pm ET against a daily average of just over 3.5 million shares.
The stock appears to have remained in a freefall ever since crossing its 20-day SMA, 50-day SMA, and support level all in the same disastrous day of trading, despite the lack of news about the company or IMO-8400, the treatment for lymphoma and autoimmune diseases that Summer Street knocked on Monday.
However, while the markets appear to be battering Idera, some circles are clearly seeing a buying opportunity. A note from Piper Jaffray research analysts Edward Tentoff and David Lebowitz entitled “Whoa Big Fella – IDRA Sell Off Seems Overblown in Our View” reiterated a price target of $7 and an “overweight” rating.
“Shares of IDRA are down 45% from their YTD high and have even broken recent deal price of $4.00 back in February,” said the note. “This sell off seems over blown in our view heading into Phase II IMO-8400 psoriasis data by the end of next week. We look for the study to expand the safety data with an additional 32 patients and demonstrate on target TLR 7,8&9 activity, validating the mechanism of action for Waldenstrom and MyD88- mutant Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL).”
The note continued to emphasize that the market values of IMO-8400 and potential psoriasis treatment IMO-9200 could be more than a combined $770 million and emphasized that, based on the company’s fundamentals, its current cash position gives it time to develop its new therapies.
“We estimate Idera holds pro forma cash of $73 million, which is sufficient to fund operations into 2016,” the note reads.