Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. (ACOR)

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Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. (ACOR)

Q2 2010 Earnings Call

August 3, 2010 8:30 AM ET


Tierney Saccavino – SVP, Corporate Communications

Dr. Ron Cohen – President and CEO

David Lawrence – Chief Financial Officer


Joel Sendek – Lazard Capital

Geoff Meacham – JPMorgan

Raghuram Selvaraju – Noble Financial Group

Yaron Werber – Citi

Phil Nadeau – Cowen and Company

David Amsellem – Piper Jaffray

Navin Jacob – ISI

Michael Yee – RBC

Josh Schwimmer – Leerink Swann



Welcome to Acorda Therapeutics Second Quarter 2010 Financial Results Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in listen-only mode. There will be a question-and-answer session to follow. Please be advised that this call is being taped at the company’s request.

I’d now like to introduce your host for today’s call, Ms. Tierney Saccavino, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications at Acorda Therapeutics. Please go ahead, sir.

Tierney Saccavino

Thank you. Good morning, everyone, and welcome. With me today are Dr. Ron Cohen, our President and Chief Executive Officer; and David Lawrence, our Chief Financial Officer.

Before we begin, let me remind you that this presentation includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than statements of historical facts regarding management’s expectations, beliefs, goals, plans, or prospects should be considered forward-looking.

These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially, including Acorda Therapeutics’ ability to successfully market and sell Ampyra in the United States and to successfully market Zanaflex Capsules, the risk of unfavorable results from future studies of Ampyra, the occurrence of adverse safety events with our product, delays in obtaining or failure to obtain regulatory approval of Ampyra outside the United States, and our dependence on our collaboration partner Biogen Idec in connection therewith, competition, failure to protect Acorda Therapeutics’ intellectual property or to defend against the intellectual property claims of others, the ability to obtain additional financing to support of Acorda Therapeutics’ operations and unfavorable results from our preclinical programs.

These and other risks are described in greater detail in Acorda Therapeutics’ filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Acorda Therapeutics may not actually achieve the goals or plans described in these forward-looking statements and investors should not place undue reliance on these statements. Acorda Therapeutics disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of developments occurring after the date of this presentation.

I will now turn the call over to our CEO, Ron Cohen.

Ron Cohen

Thanks, Tierney. Good morning, everyone. This morning, as you know, we reported our second quarter 2010 financial results. Today, I’ll provide a brief review of the key milestones since our last quarterly report and then I’ll turn it over to Dave who will provide a financial summary. Then we’ll open the call for your questions.

We are very pleased with Ampyra sales during the quarter which total $29.7 million. As a reminder, gross sales of Ampyra are recognized following shipment of the product from the company’s distribution facility to our network of specialty pharmacies. As of July 30th, more than 4,200 physicians have written at least one prescription for Ampyra, approximately double the number from our last update on April 30th.

We’re not reporting data for total and new prescriptions at this time and we don’t expect to do so for the remainder of the year. However, inventory levels at the specialty pharmacies currently represent one month or less of supply.

We’re focused on three key priorities with regard to the Ampyra launch. First, we’re continuing to optimize the process for filling prescriptions to ensure that it’s as quick and easy as possible for physicians’ offices and patients receiving the medication.

Second, we’re working with managed care providers to educate them about Ampyra to achieve the broadest possible access for people with MS. I’ll address that program on the next slide in more detail.

And third, we’re continuing to educate prescribers and other healthcare professionals about the clinical profile of Ampyra and appropriate patient selection for the product.

Our commercial team has made significant progress in improving the overall customer experience at APSS, Ampyra Patients Support Services, which is our prescriber and patient service hub. We’ve increased staffing at APSS and we have eliminated the backlog of prescription requests from the initial pent up demand at launch.

Most new prescriptions now begin processing within 24 hours of being sent to the hub and the average time between submission of an Ampyra prescription and when the drug is in the hands of the patient has been reduced.

As with any new drug launch, the actual time in which patients receive their first prescription is still dependent on several factors primarily the requirements of the insurance carrier.

Now, to ensure that the process improvements we’re making at APSS are actually translating into a better customer experience, we’ve been implementing several programs including surveys and other market research. We’ve just completed a survey of 101 prescribing physicians and results indicate that we’re making solid progress, 98% of the respondents said that they are likely to continue to prescribe Ampyra.

Our marketing and medical teams have been implementing programs to support the launch including advertising in professional and trade publications, consumer and professional websites, exhibits at major medical meetings, and a professional speaker’s bureau. And we continue to submit scientific information about Ampyra for presentation at medical meetings.

As of June 30th, a majority of insured individuals had no or minimal restrictions to access. A significant minority are subject to more restrictive prior authorizations and a mid single-digit percentage of individuals are currently blocked from receiving Ampyra, in some cased because their plans have not yet reviewed the drug. These figures are consistent with our own internal pre-launch projections.

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