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Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc. participated in the 32nd annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. Questcor mentioned at the conference that it is looking to adopt business development activity owing to its huge cash flow. The company is contemplating many options that include going private, possible acquisitions and/or partnerships. Investors reacted positively with the share price surging 11.2%.

The presentation also talked about the company’s fourth quarter 2013 performance and its overall business.

Questcor’s lead product Acthar is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for as many as 19 indications. Some of these indications include nephrotic syndrome (NS), systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis (MS) relapses and infantile spasms (IS) indications. 

Questcor expects Acthar prescriptions to be around 2,500 in the fourth quarter and nearly 9,000 for 2013.  In the fourth quarter, Questcor expects sales from Acthar’s therapeutic indications to rise on a year-over-year basis. Questcor expects Acthar’s MS indication sales to fall slightly, NS sales to rise sequentially and rheumatology to rise in the range of 15% to 20% in the fourth quarter of 2013. Questcor anticipates a cash balance of $320 million at the end of 2013.

Acthar is currently under evaluation for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) (phase II), acute respiratory distress syndrome (phase II), diabetic nephropathy (phase II), idiopathic membranous nephropathy (phase IV) and lupus (phase IV).

Questcor’s growth going forward will be driven by increasing investment in current market penetration, research and development, development of new indications for Acthar and developing international markets for Synacthen and Acthar.

Questcor carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks include Lannett Company, Inc. (LCI - Snapshot Report), WuXi PharmaTech (Cayman) Inc. (WX - Snapshot Report) and Endocyte, Inc. (ECYT - Snapshot Report). All the three stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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