Isis Pharmaceuticals' Shares Plunged: What You Need to Know

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Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of drug developer Isis Pharmaceuticals (NAS: ISIS) hardly looked like a model of fertility today as they fell 10.5% in heavy intraday trading.

So what: Third-quarter sales came in far short of analyst estimates, and the $0.27 net loss per share was surprisingly large.

Now what: Management kept a stiff upper lip and told analysts to focus on the approval process for potential blockbuster drug Kynamro, a collaboration with genetics giant Genzyme. The company does indeed have an impressive drug pipeline in place considering the small scale of its operations. Just remember that Isis is a heap of potential with very little real-world success or fully FDA-approved drugs to fall back on, and things could get ugly if the government doesn't cooperate. Take a look at the chart for Elan (NYS: ELN) in 2005 or 2008, and you'll see why nerves of steel are required for bets on this type of wonder-drug.

Interested in more info about Isis Pharmaceuticals? Click here to add it to My Watchlist.

At the time this article was published Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies mentioned. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Elan. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinion, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Check out Anders' holdings and bio, or follow him on Twitter and Google+. We have a disclosure policy.

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