Jaguar fails to impress Wall Street after first investor day

Jaguar Animal Health ($JAGX) held an Analyst and Investor Day in New York City on Nov. 16--its first since its May IPO. But despite the lineup of executives and outside veterinary experts the company presented, the event didn't seem to turn around the tough reception Jaguar has received on Wall Street to date. By the end of trading on Friday, shares were down about 11% from their Monday opening price of $2.60.

It probably didn't help that the Friday before the event, Jaguar announced quarterly results that highlighted the challenges of being a small animal health company with just one commercial product. In the third quarter, the company recorded $78,000 in sales from Neonorm, its non-prescription product to treat diarrhea in calves. Its net loss widened from $2.7 million in the same period a year ago to $2.9 million.

Jaguar was founded on the mission of developing gastrointestinal treatments for animals, which was reflected in the lineup of speakers at its investor event. Rodrigo Bicalho, an associate professor at Cornell's veterinary school who specializes in dairy production medicine, explained how prebiotics work in enhancing the intestinal health of newborn cows.

Jaguar is also working on remedies for companion animals, so the event featured educational sessions on gastrointestinal diseases in horses and the use of stomach remedies as supportive care in dogs undergoing chemotherapy. Jaguar's pipeline includes Canalevia, a prescription product to treat diarrhea in dogs.

Just before the investor event, Jaguar announced it achieved positive results from a trial of Neonorm Foal. During the trial, 68% of foals that received the treatment twice a day responded well, vs. just 35% of those on placebo, according to a press release. The company plans to launch the product at the American Association of Equine Practitioners Annual Convention in Las Vegas in December.

Both Neonorm and Canalevia are derived from a botanical ingredient called crofelemer, which comes from the Croton lechleri plant. The origins of the ingredient were described in further detail by Steven King, Jaguar's executive vice president of sustainable supply, ethnobotanical research and IP. King and Jaguar's CEO, Lisa Conte, are both veterans of Napo Pharmaceuticals, which developed a crofemeler drug to treat diarrhea in AIDS patients.

Canalevia is currently awaiting FDA approval, and Conte has told investors that if all goes well, they should expect the product to be launched in 2016. Still, Jaguar is subsisting on a much smaller cash horde than Conte and her colleagues had hoped to have. Jaguar initially planned to raise $70 million in its IPO but walked away with just $20 million. Shares are way off their $7 offering price, and in August, Jaguar had to secure an $8 million debt financing deal to extend its cash runway long enough to get Canalevia to market.

- access Jaguar's quarterly report here
- here's the release on Neonorm Foal

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