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Global Blood (GBT) Q1 Loss Narrower Than Expected, Revenues Lag

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Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc. (GBT - Free Report) incurred a loss of $1.26 per share in first-quarter 2022, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of $1.29. In the year-ago quarter, the company had reported a loss of $1.21 per share.

However, the company’s revenues of $55.2 million, comprising solely Oxbryta (voxelotor) sales, missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $57 million. Global Blood had generated $39 million in product sales in the year-ago quarter.

Shares of Global Blood have jumped 9.8% in the year so far against the industry’s decline of 21.2%.

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Quarter in Details

Oxbryta sales decreased 2% sequentially driven primarily by distributors reducing inventory in the first quarter following purchases at the end of 2021 and a higher gross-to-net adjustment, partially offset by higher patient demand. The net number of patients taking Oxbryta increased from the prior quarter.

The company achieved more than 1,200 new prescriptions for Oxbryta in the first quarter. This includes a strong launch in children ages four to less than 12 years.

Research and development expenses in the reported quarter were $52.8 million, up from $59 million in the year-ago quarter, due to an increase in external costs related to the GBT601 program.

Selling, general and administrative expenses were $74.5 million in the reported quarter, up from $59 million in the year-ago quarter, due to higher employee-related costs and increased professional and consulting services’ cost.

As of Mar 31, 2022, Global Blood had cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities worth $662.1 million compared with $734.8 million as of Dec 31, 2021.

Recent Updates

Earlier, the European Commission granted marketing authorization to Oxbryta as a monotherapy or in combination with hydroxycarbamide (hydroxyurea) for treating hemolytic anemia caused due to sickle cell disease (SCD) in adult and pediatric patients aged 12 years and above. EU’s nod is likely to boost Oxbryta sales in 2022 and beyond.

Oxbryta is approved by the FDA as an oral, once-daily treatment for SCD in patients aged 12 years or above.

In December 2021, the FDA  granted accelerated approval to Global Blood’s supplemental new drug application seeking approval for Oxbryta to treat SCD in children aged four to less than 12 years.

Enrollment is ongoing in two global, randomized, placebo-controlled, pivotal phase III studies, collectively named THRIVE, evaluating the safety and efficacy of inclacumab, GBT’s P-selectin inhibitor, for the potential reduction of vaso-occlusive crisis (VOC) frequency and VOC-related hospital readmissions.

Global Blood anticipates restarting the phase I study of GBT021601 (GBT601), the company’s investigational next-generation sickle hemoglobin (HbS) polymerization inhibitor, to study a 150 mg daily dose, which is an increase over the 100 mg daily maintenance dose previously studied. GBT is also planning to advance GBT601 into a phase II/III study and anticipates initiating the phase II portion by mid-2022.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Global Blood currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Some better-ranked stocks in the biotech sector are Clovis Oncology (CLVS - Free Report) , Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (VRTX - Free Report) and Voyager Therapeutics, Inc. (VYGR - Free Report) , all three carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Clovis boasts a mixed track record, having topped earnings estimates in two of the last four quarters and missing in the remaining two. Clovis pulled off a four-quarter earnings surprise of 1.44%, on average.

The consensus estimate for Vertex’s 2022 earnings has increased 25 cents over the past 60 days to $14.58. Shares of VRTX have gained 24.6% in the year so far.

Loss estimates for VYGR have narrowed to $1.35 from $2.20 for 2022 in the past 60 days. Earnings of Voyager surpassed estimates in three of the trailing four quarters and missed the same once, the average surprise being 41%.