Jaguar's loss doubles as it boosts R&D in support of top market contenders

Jaguar Animal Health ($JAGX) filed its first annual report as a public company on March 29, and the numbers reflect the difficulty of being an under-the-radar startup in an increasingly competitive market. The company reported a net loss for 2015 of $16.3 million, up from $8.6 million in 2014.

Jaguar's research and development expenses jumped 53% year-over-year to $6.5 million, according to its 10-K filing to the SEC. Much of that came from added headcount, as well as clinical and contract research expenses, the company says. Jaguar also incurred $188,000 in reforestation expenses so it could replant the Croton lechleri trees that are the source of the key ingredient for its products.

The Silicon Valley company is developing prescription and nonprescription drugs to treat gastrointestinal disorders in companion animals and livestock. It introduced its first product, Neonorm Calf for preweaned dairy cows, in late 2014, but it only generated $258,000 in revenues for the year, according to the 10-K. The company hopes to develop several Neonorm line extensions to treat beef cows, horses, goats and sheep.

But Jaguar's best shot at bringing in significant revenues may come from its lead prescription drug contender, Canalevia, which it is developing to treat diarrhea in dogs. It has submitted the drug to the FDA for approval in dogs undergoing chemotherapy and is awaiting a conditional approval, which would allow the company to market the drug on a limited basis while completing the studies required for full approval, according to the 10-K. It is also conducting trials of Canalevia to treat acute diarrhea from any cause in dogs.

Jaguar is also developing a prescription drug, SB-300, to treat ulcers in horses. In January, the company announced positive top-line results from an initial trial. By day 35 of treatment with SB-300 all of the horses had improved, while just 25% of horses taking a placebo achieved any resolution of their symptoms, the company said.

Still, Jaguar has experienced a rocky first year on Wall Street. After delaying its planned $70 million initial public offering by 6 months, it was only able to raise $20 million in a May 2015 IPO. Jaguar locked up $8 million in debt last August, and in February it squeezed out a $5 million secondary offering. But at $1.70 a share, its stock has fallen precipitously from its $7 IPO price.

- access Jaguar's 10-K here

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