Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc.'s
) fourth-quarter 2012 loss of 41 cents per share compared
unfavorably with the year-ago loss of 7 cents per share. Results
were hurt by higher selling, general and administrative
(SG&A) and collaboration expense. The Zacks Consensus
Estimate hinted at a loss of 50 cents per share.
Total revenues in the final quarter of 2012 were down 16.1%
year-over-year to $27 million. Revenues were above the Zacks
Consensus Estimate of $18 million.
Full year 2012 loss was 68 cents per share compared to
year-ago loss of 65 cents per share. Loss was narrower than the
Zacks Consensus Estimate of loss of 78 cents per share. Revenues
in 2012 jumped 128.1% from the previous year to $150.2
Linzess Launch Quarter Sales
The company and partner
Forest Laboratories, Inc.
) reported Linzess (linaclotide) net product sales of $19.2
million in the fourth quarter of 2012. Linzess sales primarily
consisted of initial trade stocking.
We remind investors that on Dec 17, 2012, the companies
announced the US launch of their drug Linzess. The launch
followed the approval of the drug by the US Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) in Aug 2012 for the treatment (once-daily)
of adults suffering from irritable bowel syndrome with
constipation (IBS-C) or chronic idiopathic constipation
In the EU, approval came in November 2012 under the trade name
Constella. Ironwood Pharma is collaborating with Almirall, S.A.
in EU for the drug. The product is expected to be launched in the
EU in the first half of 2013. Ironwood Pharma is also working
with its Japanese partner, Astellas Pharma Inc. for the
development of linaclotide in Japan and other Asian
To further analyze the effect of Linzess on abdominal symptoms
in patients suffering from CIC, Forest Labs and Ironwood Pharma
have initiated a phase IIIb clinical trial. Results from the
trial are expected in the second half of 2013.
During the quarter, SG&A expenses surged 139% to $33.3
million. The massive increase was primarily attributable to
Linzess commercialization costs. For 2013, Ironwood Pharma
expects total investment in sales and marketing for Linzess to be
in the range of $250-$300 million.
Research and development (R&D) expenses amounted to $28.3
million, an increase of 16.7%, reflecting investment in its
pipeline, which includes IW-9179 (phase II) for patients with
We currently have an Outperform recommendation on Ironwood
Pharma. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) in the short run.
We expect investor focus to remain on the market performance of
the lead product, Linzess.
Pharma stocks, which currently look very attractive, are
). These companies carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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