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Aerie (AERI) Q4 Loss Wider than Expected, Pipeline in Focus

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Aerie Pharmaceuticals, IncAERI posted a fourth-quarter 2015 loss of 76 cents per share (including stock-based compensation), wider than both the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 65 cents and the year-ago loss of 69 cents.

Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc. (AERI) Reported EPS - Last 5 Quarters | FindTheCompany

Being a development-stage company, Aerie did not generate any revenue from product sales yet.

Quarter in Detail

In the reported quarter, research and development (R&D) expenses (excluding stock-based compensation expense) were up 23.6% to $11.5 million. Adjusted general and administrative (SG&A) expenses escalated 19% to $5 million. The company stated that the rise in operating expenses was primarily due to increased activities related to the phase III programs for pipeline candidates, Rhopressa and Roclatan.

2015 Results

The company posted a loss of $2.88 per share, wider than both the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of $2.75 and loss of $2.00 reported in 2014.

Pipeline Update

Aerie's efforts to develop its pipeline have been encouraging. The company reported encouraging top-line safety and efficacy data from the Rocket 2 study on Rhopressa. The candidate is being evaluated for lowering intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients suffering from glaucoma or ocular hypertension. The company remains on track to file for an FDA approval of Rhopressa in the third quarter of 2016. Meanwhile, the phase III trial, Rocket 4, is progressing as per schedule. The trial is designed to provide adequate safety data for a potential filing in the EU and the company expects top-line efficacy data from the trial in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Another later-stage candidate in the company's pipeline, Roclatan, is in a phase III study (Mercury 1) for glaucoma or ocular hypertension. The company expects the 90-day top-line interim efficacy data readout in the third quarter of 2016. Moreover, the company expects to commence another study on Roclatan (Mercury 2) later this month.

2016 Outlook

Aerie expects an increase in expenses due to costs associated with the Rocket 4, Mercury 1 and Mercury 2 studies.

Aerie is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock. Other well-placed stocks in the health care sector include Actelion Ltd ALIOF , Corcept Therapeutics CORT and Celgene Corporation CELG . All three stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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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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