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Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (PCRX - Snapshot Report) reported first quarter 2013 net loss per share of 60 cents, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 49 cents and the year-ago loss of 47 cents.

First quarter revenues rose 48.5% year over year to $11.6 million, below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $13 million.

Net revenues included product revenues, collaborative licensing and development revenue and royalty revenues. Net Exparel revenues were $10.4 million. Exparel, indicated for administration into the surgical site to produce postsurgical analgesia, was launched in Apr 2012. In the first year of launch, it generated revenues of $25.1 million.

At the end of the reported quarter, 1,065 distinct customers ordered Exparel, an increase of 30% sequentially. Pacira reported an average of 22 new customers per week as of Mar 31, 2013 since launch.

Major hospital system wins, rapid adoption in the lucrative orthopedic market, increased formulary access and adoption by the Department of Defense, the removal of formulary restrictions and improved physician access should drive Exparel sales.

Pacira remains on track with its plans to expand manufacturing facility and anticipates receiving FDA approval for the newly installed manufacturing facility, Suite C in early 2014.

Research and development expenses soared 356.3% year over year to $5.9 million, mainly due to costs associated with the development of Exparel as a femoral nerve block for total knee arthroplasty surgery and intercostal nerve block for thoracotomy. Selling, general and administrative expenses increased 16% year over year to $12.9 million, primarily driven by commercialization efforts for Exparel.

Pacira currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Currently, companies like Lannett Company, Inc. (LCI - Snapshot Report), Santarus, Inc. and Catalyst Pharmaceutical Partners Inc. (CPRX - Snapshot Report)  look more attractive with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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