Anthera Targets Lupus

12/10/2015 8:00 am EST

Focus: STOCKS

John McCamant

Editor, Medical Technology Stock Letter

Treating lupus has caught the attention of big pharmaceutical and biotech firms; indeed, sales for lupus drugs are expected to go from $1.2 billion worldwide currently to over $4 billion in 2022, explains John McCamant, editor of The Medical Technology Stock Letter.

We recently went to the American College of Rheumatology meeting to meet with Paul Truex, CEO of Anthera Pharmaceuticals (ANTH) to get a lay of the landscape for b-mod in treating lupus.

After our meeting, we can say with even more confidence that the company's clinical program is intact and that their two Phase III compounds are in leadership positions and forging ahead in the clinic.

Some data could possibly be released sooner than expected and Anthera's fundamental condition has never been better.

Lupus remains a disease with no good data. We are highly confident that Anthera's b-mod has a superior profile relative to other drugs under development. Results reported at ACR lead us to believe that b-mod is the compound of choice.

Indeed, we believe the company’s fundamental turnaround has been transformational. Four Phase III trials with two novel compounds should complete registration in the second half of 2016.

Regardless of the ongoing and impressive progress, the stock price has been cut in half since July.

The bears and shorts have targeted stocks such as ANTH that might be subject to tax loss selling as we approach yearend. Therefore, when the new year begins, we expect a reversal of fortune.

ANTH remains one of the most undervalued Phase III stocks around, with not one but two wholly owned assets completing registration within the next 12 months.

Further, as we get to know CEO Truex better, we are even more confident in his management capability.

With the company's current depressed valuation and market cap of just $200 million, we believe Anthera could be vulnerable to takeover attempts.

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