Wednesday morning, Catalyst Pharmaceutical Partners (NASDAQ:CPRX) announced that its previous guidance for top-line trial data at the end of September would be delayed until November. Shares have in turn declined by 14% today to $1.58. CPRX anticipates that the data for lead candidate CPP-109 will justify further development of the product, which the company says demonstrates a better side-effect profile than existing GABA agonists for short-term addiction treatment. Since the announcement in mid-July that trial data would be released in late September, CPRX has experienced a run-up from $.78 to a high of over $2.10. At the same time, trading volume has picked up considerably for this $48M market cap. From a daily volume of less than 100K for the five years it’s been trading publicly, CPRX now averages more than 2M shares daily, attributable in part to a series of bullish articles on Seeking Alpha that began appearing in July.
Regardless of Catalyst’s rise to stardom or CPP-109’s prospects, weakness today presents a good opportunity to enter a short-term trade. If we anticipate that CPRX was nearing the top of its pre-data run-up, around $2.00, shares should perform similarly as the pending data release approaches in November. Today’s announcement was little more than a delay of this run-up, but traders oversold nonetheless. Holding through the data release is inadvisable with so many investors holding their breath in suspense; anything less than positive results will create a formidable collapse of the stock price.
In August, we advised a short-term trade in CPRX after a capital raise, also in expectation of this run-up; that trade could have netted a 33% profit. Wednesday’s weakness is a second chance at this play.