Anika: Health and Healing

07/09/2014 7:00 am EST

Focus: STOCKS

James Oberweis

President, Oberweis Asset Management, Inc.

Our latest featured stock develops and commercializes therapeutic products for tissue protection, healing, and repair; these products are based on hyaluronic acid (HA), a naturally occurring, biocompatible polymer found throughout the body, explains small-cap expert Jim Oberweis, editor of The Oberweis Report.

Anika Therapeutics (ANIK) has over 20 products currently commercialized, primarily in Europe. These products are also all made from hyaluronic acid, based on two technologies: HYAFF, which is a solid form of HA, and ACP gel, an autocross-linked polymer of HA.

Both technologies are protected by an extensive portfolio of owned and licensed patents. Anika’s proprietary technologies for modifying the HA molecule allow product properties to be tailored specifically to therapeutic use.

Their patented technology chemically modifies the HA to allow for longer residence time in the body. The company offers therapeutic products from these aforementioned technologies in several areas.

Their orthobiologics products consist of joint health and orthopedic products. These products are used in a wide range of treatments, from providing pain relief from osteoarthritis, to regenerating damaged tissue such as cartilage.

In the US, ORTHOVISC is indicated for the treatment of pain caused by osteoarthritis of the knee in patients who have failed to respond adequately to conservative non-pharmacologic therapy and to simple analgesics, such as acetaminophen.

The company’s ophthalmic business includes HA viscoelastic products used in ophthalmic surgery; their surgical business consists of products used to prevent surgical adhesions and to treat ENT disorders; and their veterinary business line includes HYVISC, for the treatment of joint dysfunction in horses associated with equine osteoarthritis.

In the company’s latest reported first quarter, sales increased approximately 123% to $34.0 million from $15.2 million in the first quarter of last year. Anika reported earnings per share of $.97 in the latest reported first quarter versus $.21 in the same quarter of last year.

Clients of Oberweis Asset Management own approximately 28,000 shares. These shares may be appropriate for risk-oriented investors.

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