Small cap TrovaGene Inc (NASDAQ: TROV) might not be a household name to many investors, but the company is worth taking a closer look at because it has developed a test for the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) - the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States.
What Do You Need to Know About Trovagene and HPV?
Based in San Diego, small cap TrovaGene is a molecular diagnostics company with fundamental intellectual property around the discovery that cell-free DNA, RNA and other types of nucleic acids pass through the kidney into the urine. These "Transrenal Nucleic Acids" (or "TrNAs") can be diagnostic of diseases such as cancer and infection. More importantly for investors, TrovaGene has the following pipeline of assays for this year:
In addition, Trovagene and Strand Life Sciences Pvt Ltd., of Bangalore have entered into a MOU to license and validate Trovagene's proprietary HPV urine test and High Risk HPV DNA Assay for clinical diagnostic and carrier screening use in India and other countries in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) plus the company is actively working on a clinical study with the MD Anderson Cancer Center regarding pancreatic cancer patients and KRAS mutation status. Trovagene is also exploring commercial partnerships with laboratories and IVD makers in a variety of fields.
As for HPV, the majority of known types of HPV will cause no symptoms in most people but some types can cause warts or lead to cancers plus HPV has even been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Trovagene’s late March press release cited Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures which estimate that approximately 20 million Americans carry HPV plus there are six million new cases occurring every year. By the age of 50, 80% of all women will have had exposure to HPV at some point in their lives. Moreover and last year, the US Preventative Task Force recommended HPV DNA testing as a mandatory part of cervical cancer screening guidelines as less than 40% of women undergo HPV DNA testing in conjunction with a standard Pap smear or liquid cytology sample. In other words, TrovaGene should come out a winner with its test.
Otherwise and on Tuesday, Trovagene reported earnings for the first quarter ended March 31 and the company reported a net loss of $1.1 million verses a net loss of $1.2 million for the same period last year primarily due to a change in the fair market value of derivative instruments offset by increased operating expenses. At the end of the quarter, Trovagene reported cash and cash equivalents of $9.2 million verses $10.8 million – meaning the company should have more than enough cash to get through this year.
Share Performance: TrovaGene
On Tuesday, TrovaGene rose 0.30% to $6.62 (TROV has a 52 week trading range of $2.09 to $8.96 a share) for a market cap of $93.88 million plus the stock is down 4.2% since the start of the year and up 88.1% since the end of last May:
Finally, here is TrovaGene’s latest technical chart:
The Bottom Line. With its HPV test and other assays in the pipeline, TrovaGene Inc is definitely worth a closer look by any investor looking for a small cap investment in the biotech or pharma space.
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