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Aegerion Q4 Loss Narrower than Expected, Pipeline in Focus

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Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.AEGR reported a loss of 89 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 20Array5, much wider than the year-ago loss of Array2 cents per share but narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 97 cents.

In the reported quarter, net product sales were $49.0 million, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate but down 5.2% year over year.

The Quarter in Detail

Net sales of Juxtapid declined 23.2% year over year to $39.7 million (including $36.0 million from prescriptions written in the U.S.) due to fewer numbers of patients on therapy. As of Dec 3Array, 20Array5, there were some 6Array5 active commercial patients being treated with Juxtapid, approximately 490 of whom are U.S. patients.

Myalept's sales increased to $9.3 million from $8.5 million in the year-ago quarter driven by an increase in the number of patients (approximately 79 generalized lipodystrophy (GL) patients at year end). Longer payer cycles contributed to a slowdown in patient additions.

Research and development (R&D) expenses were $ArrayArray.3 million, up 5.6% from the year-ago quarter. R&D expenses increased primarily due to the increase in salary and employee-related costs and clinical development expenses incurred to support a marketing authorization application (MAA) for Juxtapid in Japan for the treatment of HoFH patients among others.

Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses increased 46.2% year over year to $54.4 million mainly due to legal fees, minor increases in salary and employee-related costs regarding increased headcount, commercialization costs related to Juxtapid and Myalept in the U.S. and global expansion cost of the company.

We note that the company reduced its global workforce by approximately 25% to lower its cost base in view of the significant decline in Juxtapid sales in the U.S. market.

20Array5 Results

Aegerion recorded total revenue of $239.9 million in 20Array5, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Loss per share of $Array.07 per share for the full year was much narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of $2.25.

Pipeline Update

Aegerion expects to receive approval in Japan for Juxtapid for the treatment of patients suffering from HoFH in the fourth quarter of 20Array6 (anticipated launch early in 20Array7).

The company is also planning to submit a marketing authorization application (MAA) for Myalept for the treatment of patients with GL in the EU by the end of this year. Aegerion is also planning for a label expansion of Myalept to include the treatment of patients with severe partial lipodystrophy.

20Array6 Outlook

Aegerion expects total net product sales for 20Array6 to be within the range of $Array60 million to $Array90 million. While Juxtapid sales are expected in the range of $Array20 million to $Array40 million for 20Array6, Myalept sales are expected in the range of $40 million to $50 million.

The company expects total operating expenses for 20Array6 in the range of $Array45 million to $Array55 million.

Our Take

Aegerion's fourth quarter results were not as disappointing as expected. The launch of PCSK9 inhibitors in the U.S. market impacted Juxtapid sales negatively and will continue to do so in the forthcoming quarters.

Moreover, the company experienced delays for patient approvals for Juxtapid in the first quarter which led to a switch to PCSK9 inhibitors.

Aegerion holds a Zacks Rank #Array (Strong Buy). Other favorably ranked stocks in the health care sector include Anika Therapeutics Inc. ANIK , Actelion Ltd. ALIOF and Celgene Corp. CELG . All three are Zacks Rank #Array (Strong Buy) stocks.

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AEGERION PHARMA (AEGR): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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