Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
) recently announced its decision to sell its stake in Optimer
Biotechnology, Inc. (OBI) to the latter's current shareholders for
$60 million. Optimer expects to utilize the sale proceeds for the
commercialization of Dificid (fidaxomicin) tablets and other
Optimer expects to close the transaction in two phases - the
first in the fourth quarter this year and the second in the first
quarter of 2013.
In October 2009, Optimer had sold 40% of its equity in OBI. With
the company selling off its remaining stake, OBI has now become an
Apart from announcing the sale of its stake in OBI, Optimer also
reported US gross sales of Dificid for the third quarter of 2012.
Gross sales of the drug came in at $18.4 million in the third
quarter of 2012, up 2.2% sequentially. The company also shipped
6,436 Dificid treatments during the quarter, which reflects a 5%
increase quarter over quarter. The company will be reporting third
quarter results on November 1, 2012.
We remind investors that Dificid, Optimer's sole marketed
product, was launched in the US in July 2011 for treating patients
-associated diarrhea (CDAD), the most common form of nosocomial, or
hospital acquired, diarrhea. Dificid is also available in Canada.
Moreover, Dificid is approved in the European Union under the trade
Optimer has an exclusive two-year agreement (through July 2013)
) to co-promote Dificid in the US for the treatment of CDAD.
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 remain concerned about the company's dependence on Dificid for
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