) third quarter 2012 net loss (excluding special items) of 56
cent per share was narrower than the year-ago loss of 57 cents
per share and the Zacks Consensus loss Estimate of 64 cents.
Higher revenues led to the narrower loss in the third quarter of
Revenues in the third quarter of 2012 came in at $17.9
million, up 61.3% from the year-ago quarter. Revenues surpassed
the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $16 million. We note that
revenues in the reported quarter included Dificid sales in the US
and Canada along with contract revenue of $1.9 million under its
collaboration agreement with Astellas Pharmaceuticals Europe
Ltd., Astellas Pharma, Inc. and Specialized Therapeutics
Australia, Pty. Ltd.
Third Quarter Details
We remind investors that Dificid, Optimer's sole marketed
product, was launched in the US in July 2011 for treating
patients suffering from clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea
(CDAD) -- the most common form of nosocomial, or hospital
acquired, diarrhea. Dificid was launched in Canada in June this
year. Net sales of the drug came in at $16 million in the third
quarter of 2012, up 51.5% from the year-ago period (up 4.9%
Dificid was approved in the European Union (EU) under the
trade name, Dificlir, in December 2011.
We note that Optimer has an exclusive two-year agreement
(through July 2013) with
) to co-promote Dificid in the US for the treatment of CDAD.
Co-promotion expenses amounted to $4.4 million during the third
Optimer is planning to expand Dificid's label. Optimer
recently initiated a phase IIIb study of Dificid. The study is
evaluating the prophylactic use of Dificid in patients undergoing
bone marrow transplantation (BMT) or hematopoietic stem cell
transplant (HSCT). The company is expecting initial data from the
study by the first half of 2014. We also note that currently
there are no preventative treatments for the disease approved by
the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Both selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses
(up 10.1%) and research & development (R&D) expenses (up
2.9%) climbed during the reported quarter. The massive increase
in SG&A expenses was primarily attributable to increased
Currently, we have a Neutral stance on Optimer in the long
run. The company carries a Zacks #3 Rank (Hold rating) in the
short run. We are pleased with the company's effort to expand
Dificid's market globally. We nevertheless remain concerned about
Optimer's dependence on a single product for growth.
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