Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
) reported a net loss of 5 cents per share in the first quarter
of fiscal 2014 (ended Jul 31, 2013), in line with the Zacks
Consensus Estimate. The first quarter loss was however narrower
than the year-ago loss of 7 cents. The narrower year-over-year
loss was primarily due to higher revenues.
First quarter fiscal 2014 revenues at Peregrine Pharma increased
10.3% to $4.7 million, edging past the Zacks Consensus Estimate
of $4 million. The top-line growth was mainly due to the rise in
contract manufacturing revenue.
Avid Bioservices, a Peregrine Pharma subsidiary, posted contract
manufacturing revenues of $4.6 million during the quarter, up
10.8%. For fiscal 2014, Peregrine expects contract manufacturing
revenue in the range of $18−$22 million.
Peregrine Pharma's total costs and expenses increased 3.2% during
the first quarter of fiscal 2014 to $12.3 million. Although
research and development expenses decreased 24% to $5.3 million,
selling, general and administrative expenses were up 48.6% to
Peregrine Pharma's lead pipeline candidate, bavituximab, is being
developed for multiple oncology indications including the
treatment of second-line non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Peregrine is on-track to initiate a phase III study, SUNRISE on
the candidate for this indication by the end of calendar year
2013. In May 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration agreed
on the design of the phase III registration trial on bavituximab
for the treatment of second-line NSCLC.
The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase III trial
(n=600) will be conducted across the world among stage IIIB/IV
non-squamous NSCLC patients, whose disease progressed after
standard front-line treatment, with the primary endpoint being
overall survival. The study will compare bavituximab in
) Taxotere (docetaxel) to Taxotere and placebo.
We expect investor focus to remain on updates pertaining to
bavituximab. The successful development and commercialization of
bavituximab would be a major positive for Peregrine Pharma, which
currently has no approved drug.
Peregrine currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Companies
that currently look well-positioned include
Biogen Idec Inc.
) with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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