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Acceleron (XLRN) Q4 Loss Wider Than Expected, Revenues Beat

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Shares of Acceleron Pharma Inc. (XLRN - Free Report) were up 0.21% after it reported the fourth-quarter results. The company reported a loss of 95 cents in the fourth quarter of 2020, much wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 66 cents and the year-ago loss of 44 cents. The increased loss was primarily due to lower collaboration revenues earned in the quarter.

The company reported collaboration revenues of $25.9 million in the reported quarter, decreasing from $39.3 million in the year-ago quarter but beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 0.71%.

Total revenues reported in the quarter include $23 million in royalty revenues from approximately $115 million of net sales of Reblozyl (luspatercept-aamt) from the company's partnership with Bristol Myers (BMY - Free Report) .

Acceleron Pharma Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise


Acceleron Pharma Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise


Acceleron Pharma Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Acceleron Pharma Inc. Quote

We remind investors that, in November 2019, the FDA approved Reblozyl for the treatment of anemia in adult patients with beta-thalassemia, who require regular red blood cell or RBC transfusions. The drug was developed in collaboration with Bristol Myers.

The FDA also approved the label expansion of Reblozyl for the treatment of anemia failing an erythropoiesis-stimulating agent and requiring two or more red blood cell (RBC) units over 8 weeks in adult patients with very low- to intermediate-risk MDS with ring sideroblasts (MDS-RS) or with myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasm with ring sideroblasts and thrombocytosis (MDS/MPN-RS-T).

Research and development costs increased to $57.2 million from $48.8 million in the year-ago quarter. Selling, general and administrative costs too increased to $26.2 million from $16 million in the year-ago quarter.

Cash, cash equivalents and investments as of Dec 31, 2020, were $857.5 million. Based on its current operating plans and projections, Acceleron believes that current cash, cash equivalents and investments along with expected royalty revenues from Reblozyl sales will be sufficient to fund projected operating requirements for the foreseeable future.

Acceleron’s stock has gained 9.9% in the year so far compared with the industry’s growth of 3.2%.

Other Updates

Bristol-Myers is currently conducting a phase II study, BEYOND, with luspatercept-aamt in non-transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia patients. The top-line results are currently expected in the first half of the year.

A phase III study, INDEPENDENCE, in patients with myelofibrosis (MF) is also being initiated.

Acceleron is evaluating sotatercept for the treatment of patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) in partnership with Bristol Myers. In December, the European Commission (EC) granted an Orphan Drug designation to sotatercept for the treatment of patients with PAH. In December, Acceleron initiated its registrational STELLAR phase III study in patients with PAH.

Acceleron is also evaluating ACE-1334: Systemic Sclerosis-associated Interstitial Lung Disease (SSc-ILD).

While the label expansion of Reblozyl is encouraging, competition can be stiff from Novartis’ (NVS - Free Report) Exjade and Jadenu. Moreover, Incyte’s (INCY - Free Report) Jakafi is already approved for MF.

Acceleron currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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