Acorda Therapeutics Inc.
) first quarter 2013 loss (including share-based compensation
charges but excluding other special items) of 3 cents per share
compared unfavorably with the Zacks Consensus Estimate of
earnings of 18 cents and the year-ago earnings of 26 cents per
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Quarterly revenues increased 0.9% to $71.9 million, missing the
Zacks Consensus Estimate of $80 million.
Quarter in Detail
Bulk of net product revenues at Acorda came from Ampyra sales,
which was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
in Jan 2010 for the improvement of walking in multiple sclerosis
patients. Ampyra sales came in at $62.3 million, reflecting a
year-over-year increase of 8.5%. However, Ampyra revenues
decreased 14.3% on a sequential basis. Revenues were affected by
Acorda has a licensing agreement with
) for the development and commercialization of Ampyra outside the
US. Ampyra is available outside the US under the trade name
Fampyra royalties on ex-US sales increased 61.1% from the
year-ago period to $2.9 million.
Zanaflex capsules and tablets recorded revenues of $4.4 million
in the first quarter of 2013, down 55.1%. We note that Acorda has
) to commercialize the generic version of Zanaflex.
Acorda's research and development (R&D) expenses increased
13.6% to $12.5 million. Selling, general and administrative
(SG&A) expenses came in at $48.2 million, up 24.4% from the
Guidance for 2013
Acorda maintained its Ampyra revenue guidance of $285 million to
$315 million. Acorda also reiterated its adjusted SG&A and
R&D expense guidance. While the former is expected in the
range of $170- $180 million, the latter is expected in the range
of $60- $70 million. The guidance does not include costs related
to the NeurogesX, Inc. acquisition.
Ampyra is being studied for other indications as well including
cerebral palsy (encouraging efficacy data reported in Apr 2013
from a phase II proof-of-concept study, further analysis of data
is ongoing) and post-stroke deficits (positive top-line data from
a phase II proof-of-concept study reported in Apr 2013, further
analysis of data is ongoing). The company plans to undertake
further development of Ampyra for the post-stroke deficit
In Dec 2012, Acorda completed the acquisition of privately-held
Neuronex, Inc. The acquisition of Neuronex added diazepam nasal
spray to Acorda's neurology pipeline. Acorda is on track to
submit an NDA for diazepam nasal spray for the management of
seizure in certain epilepsy patients in 2013.
Disappointing Ampyra sales in the first quarter of 2013 is
concerning. Moreover, we remain worried about the company's
dependence on Ampyra for growth.
Acorda carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Pharma stocks that
currently look attractive include companies like
Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
), which carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).