Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc.
) shares were up ever since it announced its first quarter results
on May 8. The company's shares have gained 5.3% so far. Alnylam's
first quarter 2014 loss of 39 cents per share was narrower than the
Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of $1.18 but wider than the
year-ago loss of 15 cents per share. The wider year-over-year loss
was primarily due to lower revenues and higher expenses.
Revenues for the reported quarter were down 55.6% to $8.3 million.
Revenues in the quarter decreased due to the recognition of the
remaining deferred revenue of $9.7 million from Alnylam's agreement
Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc.
) in the year-ago quarter. The top line was also short of the Zacks
Consensus Estimate of $12 million.
Quarter in Detail
Revenues in the first quarter of 2014 included $5.5 million from
its collaboration with
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited
), in addition to $2.8 million from the company's alliance with a
couple of other companies.
Research and development (R&D) expenses went up approximately
97.3% to $43.8 million. The increase in R&D expenses was
primarily due to additional expenses related to the advancement of
patisiran (familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy) and ALN-TTRsc
General and administrative (G&A) expenses in the reported
quarter increased approximately 42.4% year over year to $8.9
million. The increase in G&A expenses was primarily
attributable to higher consulting and professional services
Alnylam expects its R&D expenses to increase for the rest of
the year. G&A expenses are however expected to be consistent
with first-quarter levels for the three remaining quarters of 2014.
Alnylam still expects to end 2014 with cash, cash equivalents and
total marketable securities in excess of $825 million.
Alnylam has made significant progress with its pipeline so far. The
company is evaluating patisiran in the phase III APOLLO study in
transthyretin-mediated amyloidosis (ATTR) patients suffering from
familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy (FAP). The primary objective of
the study is to measure the difference in the change in mNIS+7
score from baseline between patients under patisiran treatment and
those under placebo. The candidate enjoys Fast Track designation in
the U.S. for this indication. The company intends to file for the
candidate in 2014.
Alnylam is evaluating ALN-TTRsc in a phase II study in patients
suffering from familial amyloidotic cardiomyopathy. ALN-TTRsc is a
ribo nucleic acid interference (RNAi) therapeutic targeting the TTR
gene that is being developed for the treatment of ATTR. Alnylam
plans to advance the candidate in a phase III study assuming
positive results from phase II.
Apart from these candidates Alnylam also has ALN-AT3 (hemophilia),
ALN-AS1 (hepatic porphyrias) and ALN-PCSsc (hypercholesterolemia)
in its pipeline.
We are impressed by Alnylam's efforts to develop its pipeline. The
company also has multiple pipeline related activities in the coming
quarters. We expect investor focus to remain on the development of
Alnylam, a biopharmaceutical company, presently carries a Zacks
Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked stock in the same sector is
Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
). Alexion holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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