The share price of
Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
) reached a new 52-week high, touching $69.03 on Jul 8, 2013. The
closing price of $68.63 reflects a robust year-to-date return of
61.6%. The average trading volume for the last three months was
about 616,531 shares. The company had a market capitalization of
$4.11 billion on Jul 8.
Salix, a Raleigh, N.C.-based specialty pharmaceutical company,
focuses on the development and commercialization of drugs used
for the treatment of a variety of gastrointestinal diseases.
Salix carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Salix received a major boost recently when the US Food and
Drug Administration (FDA) announced that its advisory panel will
review the company's supplemental new drug application (sNDA) for
Relistor for opioid-induced constipation (OIC) in patients with
chronic pain. Thus, Salix saw share prices moving by 5% on the
news. This came as a positive surprise because Salix had received
a complete response letter (CRL) from the FDA in Jul 2012 for the
While we believe an additional study will most likely be
required for approval, we do not expect a significant delay in
the approval process for Relistor. A positive feedback from the
panel would also clear the decks for the company's plans for
submitting an sNDA for its oral formulation of Relistor.
Meanwhile, Salix has made significant progress on its
pipeline. In May 2013, the company announced statistically
significant data from two late-stage studies conducted with
budesonide foam for the treatment of active mild-to-moderate
ulcerative proctitis (UP) or ulcerative proctosigmoiditis (UPS).
Salix intends to file for FDA approval on the basis of these
positive results by the end of Sep 2013.
Lead product, Xifaxan, continues to perform well and should
keep driving growth. Successful development and approval of the
550 mg formulation for non-constipation irritable bowel syndrome
with diarrhea (IBS-D) would be a major boost for the stock. We
believe that the IBS-D indication represents significant
commercial opportunity for the company. The company is also
working on an extended intestinal release (EIR) formulation of
rifaximin which is slated to move into two phase III studies in
the second half of 2013 for the treatment of Crohn's disease.
Over the last 7 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013
has gone up from $3.59 per share to $3.68 per share. Meanwhile,
the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the second quarter of 2013 has
gone up to $0.85 from $0.82 per share over the last 7 days.
Other Stocks to Consider
Currently, companies like
Jazz Pharmaceuticals Public Limited Company
Lannett Company, Inc.
) look well positioned with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
JAZZ PHARMACEUT (JAZZ): Free Stock Analysis
LANNETT INC (LCI): Free Stock Analysis Report
SALIX PHARM-LTD (SLXP): Free Stock Analysis
SANTARUS INC (SNTS): Free Stock Analysis
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.