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Avanir Pharmaceuticals (AVNR)

Q4 2011 Earnings Call

December 12, 2011 4:30 PM ET


Ian Clements – Investor Relations

Keith Katkin – President and CEO

Christine Ocampo – Vice President, Finance

Dr. Joao Siffert – Senior Vice President, Research and Development

Eric Benevich – Vice President, Marketing

Michael McFadden – Vice President, Sales and Managed Markets

Dr. Randall Kaye – Chief Medical Officer


Roy Buchanan – JMP Securities

Frances Wong – Canaccord Adams

Carol Werther – Summer Street Research Partners



Good afternoon. My name is [Anisha], and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I’d like to welcome everyone to the Fourth Quarter and Full Year Financial Results Conference Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers remarks there will be a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions)

Thank you. Mr. Ian Clements, you may begin your conference.

Ian Clements

Thanks very much and good afternoon, everybody. Joining me on today's conference call are Keith Katkin, President and Chief Executive Officer; Christine Ocampo, Vice President of Finance; and Dr. Joao Siffert, Senior Vice President, Research and Development. For the Q&A portion of today’s we’re also be joined by Eric Benevich, Vice President of Marketing; Michael McFadden, Vice President of Sales and Managed Markets; and Dr. Randall Kaye, Chief Medical Officer.

Earlier this afternoon Avanir issued a news release, announcing the company’s results for fiscal 2011 fourth quarter and full year. If you’ve not received this new release or if you’d like to be added to the company’s distribution list, please call Investor Relations of the company, or you can sign up to the IR section of the company’s website Copies of news releases and SEC filings can also be found in the IR section on our website.

Before we begin, I’d like to remind you that the statements made on this call represent our judgment as of today, December 12, 2011. Our remarks and responses to questions during this conference call may constitute forward-looking statements, including plans, expectations, and financial projections, all of which involve certain assumptions, risks, and uncertainties that are beyond our control and could cause actual results to differ materially from the expected results expressed in our forward-looking statements.

Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance, they involve known and unknown risk, uncertainties and assumptions that may cause actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by any forward-looking statements.

More information about these statements and the related risks and uncertainties, please refer to the forward-looking statement paragraph in our recent press release and the Risk Factors set forth in the latest Avanir Form 10-K and the most recent 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as any subsequent filings with the SEC.

AVANIR assumes no obligation and expressly disclaims any duty to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after today’s call or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

With all that said, I’d now like to turn the call over to Keith Katkin. Keith?

Keith Katkin

Thanks, Ian, and my thanks to each of you for joining us today. I’d like to start off the call by highlighting the achievement of a number of important milestones both commercially and clinically in recent months.

First, we’ve continued to significantly grow NUEDEXTA prescriptions. Second, we’ve initiated a number of short and medium-term commercial initiatives for NUEDEXTA in pseudobulbar affect or PBA to help ensure continued growth of NUEDEXTA prescriptions.

Third, we filed the marketing authorization application for NUEDEXTA for the treatment of PBA with the European medicines agency and subsequently our application was accepted for review. Fourth, we achieved a significant milestone in our study of AVP-923 in central neuropathic pain in multiple sclerosis with the enrollment of our first patient. And finally, we fully deployed our institutional care sales force pilot consistent of approximately 30 sales representatives.

Let me start with NUEDEXTA prescriptions since that is an area of significant interest and progress. The number of PBA patients being treated and experiencing the benefits of NUEDEXTA is steadily growing each month and I’m very pleased with the continued growth in prescriptions that we are observing.

Taking a look at monthly prescription numbers, in July, a total of 2,746 prescriptions are written of which 1,723 were new prescriptions, in August, a total of 3,556 prescriptions were written of which 2,060 were new prescriptions, and for September, a total of 3,908 prescriptions were written of which 2,076 were new prescriptions.

Thus for the fourth fiscal quarter of 2011, we had a total of 10,210 prescriptions of which 5,859 were new prescriptions. This represents a 99% increase in total prescriptions versus the prior quarter. The average prescriptions size in the quarter was 51 capsules.

We continue to see prescription growth in October with total prescriptions equaling 4,100 of which new prescriptions were 2,043. Although full November IMS numbers are not yet available we are on track to show continued growth in total prescriptions and are pleased that during November we achieved our first week of over 1,200 total prescriptions of which over 600 were new prescriptions. This is an important milestone as the annualized value of 1,200 prescriptions per week covers fixed expenses of our specialty retail and institutional care sales forces combined.

Since our last quarterly conference call, important short to medium-term growth initiatives have been put in place. I’d like to focus on three of these. First, the sales force, as I mentioned earlier, in recent months we have been conducting a fairly expensive sales force pilot into the institutional care segment. We have recently added approximately 30 experience sales professionals dedicated to the institutional care center, in addition to our initial specialty sales force of 75 calling primarily our neurologist and psychiatrist.

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