One biotech company has seen intensive insider buying during the last 30 days. Intensive insider buying can be defined by the following three criteria:
The stock is purchased by three or more insiders within one month.
The stock is sold by no insiders in the month of intensive purchasing.
At least two purchasers increase their holdings by more than 10%.
Idera Pharmaceuticals (IDRA), a clinical stage biotechnology company, engages in the discovery and development of novel synthetic DNA- and RNA-based drug candidates.
Insider Buying During the Last 30 Days
- Robert Karr purchased 5,750 shares on Sept. 16 and currently controls 6,299 shares or less than 0.1% of the company. Robert Karr serves as a director of the company. Robert Karr increased his holdings by 1,047.4% in September.
- William Reardon purchased 13,561 shares on Sept. 16 and currently holds 18,794 shares or less than 0.1% of the company. William Reardon serves as a director of the company. William Reardon increased his holdings by 259.1% in September.
- James Geraghty purchased 360,000 shares on Aug. 19 to Sept. 16 and currently holds 360,000 shares or 0.9% of the company. James Geraghty is chairman of the board. James Geraghty increased his holdings from zero shares to 360,000 shares during the past 30 days.
Here is a table of Idera's insider-trading activity by calendar month.
|Month||Insider buying / shares||Insider selling / shares|
There have been 469,311 shares purchased, and there have been zero shares sold by insiders this year.
Idera reported the second-quarter financial results on Aug. 15 with the following highlights:
|Net loss||$5.6 million|
With cash and cash equivalents of $16.3 million at the end of the second quarter, Idera believes it has funds to complete its Phase 2 clinical trial of IMO-8400 in patients with psoriasis and to fund its operations through year-end 2014.
Idera has two lead candidates in development for the treatment of autoimmune diseases:
- IMO-3100, an antagonist of TLRs 7 and 9, is in clinical development for psoriasis.
- IMO-8400, an antagonist of TLRs 7, 8, and 9, is in development for lupus.
During the second quarter Idera presented clinical proof-of-concept data of TLR antagonism and initiated a Phase 2 trial of its lead TLR antagonist, IMO-8400, in patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis. Idera expects data from the Phase 2 trial to be available during the first quarter of 2014.
Idera's principal competitor developing TLR-targeted compounds for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases is Dynavax (DVAX), with its collaborator GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Merck's vaccines using Idera's TLR7, TLR8 or TLR9 agonists as adjuvants may compete with vaccines using TLR agonists as adjuvants being developed or marketed by GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis (NVS), Dynavax, VaxInnate, Intercell AG (INRLF.PK) and Cytos Biotechnology AG (CSBTF.PK).
Idera is also developing drug candidates for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. There are a number of well-known immune suppressors and biologics that are currently being widely used for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, including methotrexate and cyclosporine, which are both immune suppressors, and biologics like Enbrel, which is marketed by Amgen (AMGN), Pfizer (PFE) and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company (TKPHF.PK), Remicade, which is marketed by Janssen Biotech (JNJ), Merck and Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma (MTZPY.PK), Humira, which is marketed by Abbott Laboratories (ABT), and Stelara, which is marketed by Janssen Biotech.
In addition to existing treatments, Idera is also aware of additional compounds for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis that are currently in late stage development, including apremilast, which is being developed by Celgene Corporation (CELG), tofacitinib, which is being developed by Pfizer, secukinumab, which is being developed by Novartis, ixekizumab, which is being developed by Eli Lilly and Company (LLY), and brodalumab, which is being developed by Amgen, AstraZeneca (AZN) and Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co.
There have been three different insiders buying Idera and there have not been any insiders selling Idera during the last 30 days. All three of these insiders increased their holdings by more than 10%. Idera has an insider ownership of 6.60%.
The next catalyst for Idera will be the IMO-8400 Phase 2 trial data anticipated during the first quarter of 2014. Idera is fully funded through year-end 2014. I have a cautiously bullish bias for the stock currently based on the intensive insider buying.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned.