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ViroPharma Expects a Strong 2012


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ViroPharma Inc. (VPHM">VPHM) recently provided sales and expense guidance for 2012. The company expects net product sales in the range of $600 - $660 million. Further, ViroPharma forecasts US Cinryze sales to come in at $310 - $330 million, with Vancocin sales expected to range from $260 - $310 million.

Additionally, the company anticipates research and development (R&D) and selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses to be in the $230 - $260 million range.

We note that the 2012 Cinryze sales forecast made by ViroPharma is almost 24% - 27% above the company’s 2011 guidance of $250 - $260 million. The expense forecast for 2012 also lies ahead of the 2011 guidance of $185 - $195 million.

We are pleased with the company’s forecast and have a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) in the short run. We believe continued uptake of Cinryze (hereditary angioedema) in the US, launch of Buccolam (seizure) and Cinryze in the remaining European countries, and the potential EU launch of Plenadren (adrenal insufficiency in adults), later in 2012, will boost its revenues.

Moreover, the label update of Vancocin (clostridium difficile infection), to include safety and efficacy data from 260 patients with C. difficile associated diarrhea (CDAD), who were treated with Vancocin in two pivotal studies of Sanofi’s (SNY">SNY) investigational drug, tolevamer, has brought three years of marketing exclusivity (until the end of 2014) to the drug. We expect this to also help drive topline growth at ViroPharma in 2012.

However, we have a Neutral recommendation on the company, for the longer term. ViroPharma does not have any late-stage pipeline candidate in its portfolio to help drive the company’s long-term growth, post the launch of Plenadren. We believe that the company will have to continue making acquisitions or entering into deals in order to fill this gap.

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