) first-quarter loss per share of 66 cents was narrower than the
Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 76 cents and the year-ago
loss of 75 cents per share. The narrower loss during the quarter
was primarily due to higher revenues.
InterMune reported revenues of $10.5 million in the first quarter
of 2013, compared with year-ago revenues of $4.9 million. The
sharp increase in total revenues was primarily due to a boost in
Esbriet (pirfenidone) sales. The drug was launched in Germany in
Sep 2011. Revenues were just below the Zacks Consensus Estimate
of $11 million.
Esbriet was the sole contributor to InterMune's total revenues in
the first quarter of 2013. Esbriet is approved for the treatment
of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a fatal lung disease.
During the quarter, research and development (R&D) expenses
increased 11.5% to $25.9 million. The increase in R&D was due
to expenses associated with the ASCEND trial.
The ASCEND trial is supporting Esbriet for the treatment of IPF
in the US. In Jan 2013, the company completed enrolment for the
phase III study in the US. Results from the ASCEND trial are
expected in the second quarter of 2014.
Selling general and administrative (SG&A) expenses were up
14% to $30 million during the reported quarter. The increase in
SG&A expenses during the reported quarter was primarily
attributable to expenses related to the launch and pre-launch of
Esbriet in the EU along with development of InterMune's
ATHERSYS INC (ATHX): Free Stock Analysis
INTERMUNE INC (ITMN): Free Stock Analysis
NOVARTIS AG-ADR (NVS): Free Stock Analysis
SANOFI-AVENTIS (SNY): Free Stock Analysis
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
Apart from announcing its results, the company also reiterated
its previously announced guidance for the year 2013. InterMune
still expects Esbriet sales in the range of $40−$70 million in
2013. The guidance includes $40-$55 million from countries where
the product is currently launched and the rest from countries
where the drug is yet to be launched. Total revenues for 2013 as
per the Zacks Consensus Estimate are $62 million.
The company still expects 2013 R&D expenses in the range of
$100-$120 million. SG&A expenses are continued to be
projected in the range of $145-$165 million.
To date, Esbriet is successfully priced and reimbursed in 12
European countries, namely, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France,
Germany, Iceland, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Italy, England, and
Finland. InterMune expects to generate revenues from Esbriet in
all these countries from the second half of the year.
InterMune plans to launch the drug in Italy by mid-June, in
Finland by June and in England by mid-August. InterMune intends
to conclude pricing and reimbursement discussions in Ireland this
June and potentially launch the drug there in the third quarter
of 2013. Moreover, the company expects to provide an update on
pricing and reimbursement discussions in Spain and the
Netherlands by the end of the year.
Though Esbriet is the only approved medicine for IPF, companies
) are developing therapies to treat IPF. We remain concerned
about the fact that InterMune is dependent on a single product
for growth. Meanwhile, we expect investor focus to remain on the
pricing and reimbursement in the remaining EU countries.
InterMune, a biotechnology company, carries a Zacks Rank #2
(Buy). Other biotech stocks such as
) currently look better positioned carrying a Zacks Rank #1