4 New Patents Add to Progenity’s Appeal

Here’s an interesting addition to your biotechnology-sector holdings: California-headquartered Progenity (NASDAQ:PROG) develops targeted therapeutics for diseases, and traders should be glad to know that PROG stock is usually affordable. The stock’s low price makes it prone to bouts of volatility however, which are not helped by recent short-squeeze runs. But the big swings don’t mean there’s not a solid company here if you can get in at a reasonable price.

A close-up concept image of a tiny glass vial with a strand of DNA in it.

Source: Shutterstock

With a particular focus on gastrointestinal health and oral biotherapeutics, Progenity is not afraid to innovate. For instance, the company is developing a first-of-its-kind test to assess patients for preeclampsia (a potentially fatal pregnancy complication).

As we’ll see, there are exciting developments as Progenity seeks to develop its lineup of patents and intellectual property (IP). Furthermore, Progenity is undergoing a transition at the executive level, which could enhance the company’s value.

PROG Stock at a Glance

Investing in biotech stocks can be tricky. PROG stock is an example of why it’s sometimes better to wait a while, instead of immediately jumping on a biotechnology initial public offering (IPO).

To recap, Progenity conducted its IPO on June 22, 2020. At that time, the company sold its first shares to the public at $15 apiece. Unfortunately, the Progenity share price declined soon after the IPO, falling to $5 and change by the end of 2020. The sellers continued to pummel the stock in 2021, dropping it under $1 during the summer before partially rebounding to around $3.50 in early November. And that’s not including short squeezes that forced some impressive but unsustainable short-term gains.

As you learn more about Progenity, you might decide that the market has unfairly punished PROG stock. If that’s the case, then a moderate position in the stock could be justified.

Bulking Up the IP Portfolio

Some investors might know Progenity for the company’s potentially game-changing preeclampsia test, known as Preecludia. However, that’s not the company’s only contribution to the medical community.

Eric d’Esparbes, the CFO and interim CEO of Progenity until last week, observed that the company has “one of the most robust ingestible device patent portfolios.” Among Progenity’s most notable developments is the Oral Biotherapeutic Delivery System (OBDS). This is an capsule for the oral delivery of liquid-based drugs.

Naturally, Progenity is interested in protecting its novel products. Thus, the company recently announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued four patents related to Progenity’s ingestible technologies for delivery of therapeutics via the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

These patents include:

  • “Ingestible device for delivery of therapeutic agent to the GI tract” (the connection to Progenity’s OBDS is evident here)
  • “Treatment of inflammatory conditions of the gastrointestinal tract with a Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor”
  • “Treatment of a disease of the gastrointestinal tract with a SMAD7 inhibitor”
  • “Treatment of a disease of the gastrointestinal tract with a chemokine/chemokine receptor inhibitor”

An Experienced Biotech Business Leader

Augmenting Progenity’s IP/patent holdings is a positive change for the company, no doubt. However, there’s an equally important change happening at the company’s executive level. Just recently, Progenity appointed a new CEO, Adi Mohanty. Mohanty, who is also joining the company’s board of directors, brings a wealth of experience as a biotech business leader.

Before taking on this new role, Mohanty served as the CEO of BioTime. During Mohanty’s time at the company, BioTime developed product candidates from the lab into mid- and late-stage clinical trials.

Mohanty also served as vice president at Transkaryotic Therapies, which was acquired by Shire PLC. He held multiple executive positions with Shire. Mohanty has previously taken roles at other science/healthcare companies, as well.

“We believe he is the right person to lead Progenity into this next phase of growth as we advance the discovery, development, and delivery of therapeutics,” d’Esparbes said of Mohanty.

The Takeaway on PROG Stock

PROG stock is trading at a reduced price point, and this can be viewed as an opportunity. As Progenity expands its IP/patent portfolio, the company’s value increases. Moreover, Mohanty’s new CEO has a track record of helping to build up biotechnology businesses. So, for exposure to a company that aggressively targets diseases while developing novel products, Progenity is definitely worth your attention. PROG stock gets a “B” grade in my Portfolio Grader.

On the date of publication, neither Louis Navellier nor the InvestorPlace Research Staff member primarily responsible for this article held (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.

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