It has been around a month since we last looked at Opiant Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:OPNT) and, across the period, the company hasn’t really moved all that much.
On September 19, the time of our last coverage, Opiant went for about $35.70 per share. At the end of play on Friday last week, the stock went for $37.98 – a circa 6% gain.
During this time, however, we’ve seen a couple of updates hit press that support the thesis we outlined last time we looked at this company – that there’s some real potential for long-term growth here and that an exposure at current prices could be a rewarding one heading into the end of 2017 and beyond.
Here is a look at said updates and what they mean for our expectations going forward.
The first major announcement came at the start of October, with the company reporting a fresh collaboration with Titan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTNP).
The collaboration is designed to support the development (and eventual commercialization) of an opioid antagonist with a long acting mechanism of action. The current standard of care treatment in this space is a monthly depot injection of naltrexone. When patients receive this injection, opioids don’t have any impact on them for a few weeks and, as a result, it can be an effective method of helping people overcome addiction. However, the monthly necessity for injection limits usefulness somewhat.
Titan has developed something called ProNeura, which is a technology that allows for active compounds to be administered as part of a subcutaneous implant and, additionally, to be effective over a longer period of time as might be the case with extended injection – up to six months, reportedly.
The idea, then, is that Titan can provide the ProNeura technology while Opiant can provide the antagonist (the active compound). Exactly when this asset is going to advance into the clinic remains to be seen (both companies have been pretty cagey to date as far as serving up specific time frames is concerned) but there is a strong chance we will see some advance before the end of the year, meaning the program could serve up some upside catalysts heading into the start of 2018.
On top of this development, we also just got the company’s fiscal fourth quarter and full year 2017 financial reports, as well as a corporate update, accompanying the numbers. As per the release, revenues during the fourth quarter came in at $3.75 million (a royalty payment from SWK Funding accounted for the vast majority of these revenues) and the company reported a net loss of $0.3 million for the period, as compared to a net loss of approximately $1.1 million, or a net loss of $0.57 per basic share and fully-diluted share, for the same period in 2016. Notably, for the year ended July 31, 2017, the company reported a net profit of approximately $6.6 million.
So what’s next?
We are looking for the advance of the above-discussed ProNeura asset into the clinic in the US as a near-term catalyst, as well as the release of data from a phase 2 study of Opiant’s lead development asset, a drug called OPNT001, in a target indication of bulimia nervosa (BN). Said data is expected to hit press at some point during early 2018, meaning that from an operational perspective, the first and second quarters of next year could be big ones for the company.
As of July 31, 2017, Opiant had $6.9 million cash on hand. In August, the company received the above discussed $3.75 million which was recorded as revenues, which means cash balance is likely somewhere in the region of $9 or $10 million right now. This removes any immediate dilution risk, but there is a good chance we will see some degree of equity raise early next year as the company’s pipeline progresses towards commercialization.
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Image courtesy of Todd Huffman via Flickr
Disclosure: We have no position in OPNT and have not been compensated for this article.