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NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NPSP - Analyst Report) reported first quarter 2013 net loss per share of 9 cents per share, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 13 cents and the year-ago loss of 12 cents. The narrower loss was primarily attributable to higher revenues.

First quarter 2013 revenues climbed 11% to $25.4 million. Bulk of the revenues ($24.8 million) in the first quarter of 2013 came from royalties. The remaining revenues came from Gattex (teduglutide). Revenues were below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $28 million.

NPS Pharma launched Gattex in Feb 2013, following approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Dec 2012. The drug was cleared for treating adults with short bowel syndrome (SBS), dependent on parenteral support. NPS Pharma stated in its press release that as of May 3 2013, 42 SBS patients were treated with Gattex.

Moreover, 160 Gattex prescriptions were received until that date. The company expects peak sales of Gattex in the US to exceed $350 million. The drug is approved in Europe (Sep 2012) under the trade name Revestive.

In the first quarter of 2013, research and development expenses were $15.7 million, down 22.3%. Lower clinical development expenses and adjustments related to completion of some clinical trials led to the decline. In the first quarter of 2013, general and administrative expenses climbed 82.1% to $14.2 million. Costs pertaining to the launch of Gattex in the US were responsible for the huge increase.

NPS Pharma is also developing Natpara (rhPTH [1-84]) for the treatment of adult hypoparathyroidism. The company expects to submit a Biologic License Application to the FDA for the drug during the remainder of the year.

2013 Guidance

NPS Pharma continues to expect total operating expenses, including share-based compensation expenses for 2013 in the range $135 -$145 million.

NPS Pharma carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Companies such as Lannett, Inc. (LCI - Snapshot Report), Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc. (CBST - Analyst Report) and Celgene Corporation (CELG - Analyst Report) appear to be more attractive with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). 

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