VIC Submission: La Jolla Pharmaceutical (LJPC)

Submitted: October 5, 2009

Accepted: November 1, 2009


I have encountered a great shorting opportunity within the nanocap universe with La Jolla Pharmaceutical (LJPC). LJPC is a biopharmaceutical company that engages in the discovery and development of orally-active small molecules for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, and acute and chronic inflammatory disorders. Because the company is currently trading at 5X net cash value ($0.22/share) and it is in the process of liquidating, this is a great shorting opportunity.


In February 2009, the company was informed by an Independent Monitoring Board for the monitoring board that continuing the study of the Riquent drug was futile. LJPC had previously devoted substantially all of its research, development and clinical efforts and financial resources toward the development of Riquent.

In July 2009, LJPC announced that, in light of other alternatives, a wind down of the business would be in the best interests of stockholders.


The Company has no other drugs in the pipeline, and has scheduled a stockholders meeting for october 31, 2009. The board expects the shareholders will approve the liquidation of the business at the stated date. Below is an estimate of the liquidation value of the company, not including the expenses to be incurred in the process of liquidation.

Cash and cash equivalents                              $8,509 (as of June 2009)
Total Liabilities                                                    $3,836
Off-Balance Sheet Obligations                        $0
Net Cash Value                                                     $4,673

Est. Additional Operational Expenses       $2,096 (through October 2009)
Adj. Net Cash Value                                           $2577

Adj. Net Cash Value per Share                      $0.04

I estimate the company’s liquidating value to be at $0.04/share at best, compared to the company’s market value of $0.20/share. Because expenses will have to be incurred to liquidate the business, we expect the actual cash distribution to shareholders to be below the estimated $0.04/share.

In a DEF14 form filed with the SEC on October 1, 2009 the company provided its estimates of stockholder distributions. The company’s management estimated that distributions will range from $0.028/share to $0.045/share, significantly below the current market value of $0.20/share.


Several reasons why I believe the company’s liquidation is certain:

- For over 6 months, LJPC explored strategic alternatives, including undertaking efforts to identify a merger, reverse merger, stock or asset sale, strategic partnership or other business combination transaction that would have a reasonable likelihood of providing greater value to our stockholders than they would receive in a liquidation, which did not result in the identification of any likely transaction.

- The board believes that there is a low probability that LJPC would be presented with, or otherwise identify, within a reasonable period of time under current circumstances, any viable opportunities to engage in an attractive alternative business combination or other strategic transaction that would provide enhanced value to stockholders.

- LJPC has only three full-time employees remaining, two of which make up the management team consisting of a President and Chief Executive Officer and a Vice President of Finance and Secretary.


The biggest risk is the possibility of a merger or buyout above the current market value. This is unlikely, as the company has no patents nor other intellectual property that would encourage potential buyers to pay a value above LJPC’s net cash. The 5X premium to net cash value in unwarranted, as the likelihood of liquidation is high. This presents a great shorting opportunity for investors.


In July 2009, LJPC announced that, in light of other alternatives, a wind down of the business would be in the best interests of stockholders.



One Response to VIC Submission: La Jolla Pharmaceutical (LJPC)

  1. It was a great shortening opportunity over .20/share. I hope you did short it when you suggested it to VIC. Since it is now down under .08/share, it seems a lot less of a good deal with margin costs factored in. What do you think?

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