PROG Stock: Why It Substantially Increased This Past Week

By Amit Chowdhry ● Oct 13, 2021
  • The stock price of Progenity Inc (NASDAQ: PROG) increased by over 36% this past week. This is why it happened.

The stock price of Progenity Inc (NASDAQ: PROG) increased by over 36% this past week and 100% over the past month. While the stock price increase is being largely driven by a short squeeze, there have been a few catalysts that also drove the momentum. A post recently went viral on the subreddit /shortsqueeze talking about the company being a short squeeze opportunity.

For example, it was revealed a few days ago that the company secured patent for treating gastrointestinal diseases. The title of the patent is “Treatment of a disease of the gastrointestinal tract with a SMAD7 inhibitor” and it was granted on October 5.

Last week, the company issued an announcement about the closing of its previously announced registered direct offering of 13,333,334 shares of the company’s common stock, at a purchase price of $1.50 per share, priced at a premium to market under Nasdaq rules for gross proceeds of approximately $20 million, before deducting the placement agent’s fees and other offering expenses.

Surprisingly, the stock price fell over 8% today despite the company announcing that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued four patents related to its ingestible technologies for delivery of therapeutics via the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Here is more information about the patents:
— US. Patent No. 11,007,356 – “Ingestible device for delivery of therapeutic agent to the gastrointestinal tract” – The patent is directed to methods and devices for delivery of a therapeutic agent into gastrointestinal tissue for systemic uptake. Progenity’s Oral Biotherapeutic Delivery System (OBDS), currently under development, is designed for systemic, needle-free delivery of biotherapeutics via an ingestible device. Preclinical work to date has demonstrated the ability of the OBDS to achieve bioavailability of up to 44% for proteins.

— U.S. Patent No. 11,033,490 — Treatment of inflammatory conditions of the gastrointestinal tract with a Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor. The patent covers methods of treating ulcerative colitis using an ingestible device that delivers a JAK inhibitor directly to the proximal part of the large intestine. As part of its GI-targeted therapeutics program, Progenity is preparing to initiate early clinical studies of its PGN-600 program for targeted delivery of a proprietary formulation of tofacitinib, a JAK inhibitor, to the site of disease using Progenity’s Drug Delivery System (DDS), also under development. Earlier this year the company completed preclinical work with PGN-600 demonstrating at least 25 times more tofacitinib in colon tissue and less drug in blood compared to an equivalent standard oral dose.

— U.S. Patent No. 11,134,889 — “Treatment of a disease of the gastrointestinal tract with a SMAD7 inhibitor” and U.S. Patent No. 10,980,739 — “Treatment of a disease of the gastrointestinal tract with a chemokine/chemokine receptor inhibitor.” These patents are part of the company’s GI-targeted therapeutics portfolio, which includes over 170 issued patents and pending applications directed to seventeen inflammatory bowel disease targets, including TNF-alpha, IL-12/23, and integrins.

The Progenity patent portfolio consists of 96 patent families, including 180 issued patents and more than 220 pending applications. And the portfolio includes patents and applications directed to methods and devices for drug delivery, methods and devices for GI sampling and diagnostics, methods and compositions for treating disease, and molecular and protein tools, assays and diagnostics.

KEY QUOTE:

“We believe we hold one of the most robust ingestible device patent portfolios. The addition of these recent patents further strengthens our intellectual property position and underscores our commitment to innovation in advancing therapeutic discovery, development, and delivery.”

— Eric d’Esparbes, interim CEO of Progenity

Disclaimer: This content is intended for informational purposes. Before making any investment, you should do your own analysis.