In January 2013, newly trading AntriaBio, Inc. (OTCQB: ANTB) acquired one of the most-interesting and buzz worthy assets we’ve seen in some time from a private company called PR Pharmaceuticals.
AntriaBio swooped in to snag the intriguing lead diabetes product, AB101, after that firm had already invested more than $100 million into the formulation, manufacturing and intellectual property development of the injectable once-a-week basal insulin solution for diabetics who are otherwise forced to take shots on a daily basis.
The team at AntriaBio was getting a great deal of attention at the recent Healthcare Conferences in San Francisco- well before the company was even publicly trading as it is now. Why? Not only because the lead product had already seen substantial private capital development investment, but also because AB101 offers potential significant advantages over basal insulin products offered by Sanofi-Aventis and Novo Nordisk; whose products Lantus and Levemir have a combined $8B in annual sales.
Looking at the situation from an industry standpoint, we have seen dozens of stories and several examples of industry titans buying once discarded unique assets with substantial market potential, for big money. See Amgen's acquisition of deCODE Genetics for $415MM in December 2012 as one.
"The company (deCODE) declared bankruptcy in 2009 and was rescued by some of its original investors, who acquired the firm and its assets for around $14 million and went on to invest another roughly $45 million"
These biotechnologies were bought for pennies on the dollar and once their true value came to be recognized the acquisitions led to substantial profits.
We believe that the same should hold true for AntriaBio- especially given that the incidence of diabetes is increasing rapidly and that this one-a-week insulin replacement therapy could be very appealing to individuals with diabetes who need to mimic healthy pancreas function by delivering insulin consistently day and night (basal insulin) and as needed following meals (bolus insulin).
AntriaBio proposes that AB101 would be administered by subcutaneous injection and targets patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes who require basal insulin for the control of hyperglycemia. The formulation has been designed to release insulin slowly and uniformly over a period of approximately one week without an adverse initial burst of insulin. The release profile results in a low and sustained insulin level that supplements the effects of bolus insulin and complements the effects of other diabetes medications.
The firm has a very smart and efficient clinical approval pathway that includes for the possibility that AB101 may be able to be marketed in Russia while US and EU studies move forward at a slower pace.
This is a fascinating and innovative technology led by a group with plenty of product experience and we will follow this story as it unfolds.
In the meantime, given the share-count actually in the float currently, it may be wise for both traders and long-term holders to consider establishing positions in front of upcoming catalysts and before this marked biotech’s popularity begins to spread.
Disclosure: Long ANTB