Healthcare Review: Cardiome Pharma, Endocyte, NPS Pharmaceuticals, Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, Vivus Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Wednesday, 06 November 2013 14:36
U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday buoyed by strong economic data from Europe, while investors bought a flurry of new public offerings one day ahead of Twitter's much-anticipated IPO. German industrial orders rose by more than expected, which is significant as the country is the economic engine of the euro zone. Greenhaus also noted recent statements from U.S. central bankers that point to an extended period of accommodative central bank policy. New research from Federal Reserve economists makes the case for more aggressive action by the U.S. central bank to drive down unemployment.

Cardiome Pharma ($CRME) is sharply lower on heavy volume as the company's Q3 report weighs heavily on shares. The transfer (from Merck) of commercialization responsibility for Brinavess in the EU was completed in September. "Despite Q3 historically being the weakest quarter for Brinavess sales in Europe, total sales in Q3 increased by 17% Q/Q," the company notes, before saying it "does not expect to see a significant impact on sales in Q4 as it completes the transition process for regulatory product rights and product distribution responsibility."

Endocyte ($ECYT ) is up nicely following the company's Q3 report and update. Net loss for the period was $0.08/share. Revenue was $16.6M (Merck collab). PROCEED (vintafolide/etarfolatide in platinum resistant ovarian cancer) enrollment is on track. Interim analysis in Q2 2014.TARGET top-line read-out expected in Q1 2014. See here for more on TARGET. The FDA has accepted an IND for EC1456.CHMP opinion still expected next month or in January. Cash and equivalents guidance for end of year: Unchanged at $145-160M.

Shares of NPS Pharmaceuticals ($NPSP) are sharply lower in morning trading on the heels of the company's Q3 report.Q3 Gattex sales: $11M (versus $4.8M in Q2). 235 patients on therapy.Royalty revenues: $28.1M.R&D spend: $18.8M (versus $18M in Q3 2012).The U.S. launch of Gattex results in a 112% increase in SG&A.Outlook: FY13 Gattex/Revestive net sales of $28-32M (versus previous guidance of $25-30M). Patients on therapy guidance is unchanged at 275-325. NPSP says that as of 2014, it will "no longer report the number of prescriptions and the number of patients on Gattex/Revestive in connection with its quarterly financial results." Opex still seen at $140-150M.

Auxilium Pharmaceuticals ($AUXL) tops estimates for Q3 as revenues jump 52% Y/Y.Xiaflex U.S. net sales: $15.9M (+20%). Testim U.S. net sales: $50.7M (-7%). Actient Holdings contributes $38.3M in revenues. The company says it is "still on track" to recognize around $20M in synergies from the acquisition of Actient by the end of next year.

Vivus ($VVUS) trades 8% lower as the company reports a wider-than-expected loss for Q3.  Qsymia sales for the period print at $6.4M.The company says it is cutting its workforce by 17% (20 employees) in an effort to "eliminate expenses that are not essential to expanding the use of Qsymia." Employee termination costs, operating lease exit costs, and "other associated costs" are expected to come in at $6-8M for Q4.Annual net cost savings of $6-8M should begin in FY14.CEO Seth Fischer calls the results "disappointing," but says changes have been made.

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