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Supernus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (SUPN - Snapshot Report) reported first quarter 2013 net loss per share of 60 cents, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 63 cents and the year-ago loss of $6.05. First quarter revenues were $0.1 million, compared with $0.2 million in the year-ago quarter. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues was $1 million.

In the reported quarter, research and development expenses were $4.5 million, compared with $5.4 million in the year-ago quarter. The decrease was primarily due to the completion of a phase IIb study on SPN-810.

In the reported quarter, selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses were $13.5 million, compared with $2.7 million in the year-ago quarter. The increase was due to costs relating to the hiring of sales force during the quarter, the Oxtellar XR launch and also costs associated with prelaunch activities for Trokendi XR.

In Feb 2013, Supernus announced the launch of its antiepileptic drug, Oxtellar XR, in the US. Oxtellar XR was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Oct 2012. In Nov 2012, Supernus received three years of marketing exclusivity from the FDA. As of Mar 31, 2013 net deferred product revenue was $3.6 million.

The company reported meaningful growth in the Oxtellar XR prescriber base so far in the second quarter of 2013. In the first two months of its launch, prescriptions totaled 579.

We note that, Trokendi XR, an epilepsy candidate has received tentative FDA approval in Jun 2012.  A request for final approval was filed in Dec 2012. Supernus intends to launch this candidate in the third quarter of 2013.

In Nov 2012, Supernus had announced encouraging top-line results from a phase IIb study on SPN-810. SPN-810 is being developed for the treatment of impulsive aggression in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder patients. Supernus expects to meet the FDA by year end to discuss plans for later stage clinical studies.

2013 Outlook

Cash burn for 2013 is now expected in the range $85 million to $95 million, lower than the earlier range of $95 million to $105 million. The decline was due to the refinancing of a secured credit facility.

Supernus carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other companies like Santarus, Inc. and Catalyst Pharmaceutical Partners Inc. (CPRX - Snapshot Report) look more attractive with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Lannett Company, Inc. (LCI - Snapshot Report) carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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