Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALNY - Free Report) incurred a loss of $1.20 per share in the fourth quarter of 2017, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of $1.38. However, the figure was wider than the year-ago loss of $1.08.
Quarterly revenues improved 116.6% to $37.9 million, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $26.9 million. The top line in the quarter included $13.4 million earned under the company's collaboration agreement with Sanofi’s (SNY - Free Report) subsidiary, Genzyme as well as $20.1 million from the company’s alliance with The Medicines Company (MDCO - Free Report) and $4.4 million from other sources.
Quarter in Detail
Adjusted research and development (R&D) expenses increased 8.3% from the year-ago period to $102.9 million. Adjusted general and administrative (G&A) expenses more than doubled to $55.2 million.
Alnylam provided guidance for 2018. The company expects to end the year with approximately $1 billion in cash, cash equivalents and fixed income marketable. Adjusted R&D expenses are expected in the range of $400 million to $440 million while adjusted selling, general and administrative expenses are expected in the range of $280 million to $320 million.
Alnylam reported positive phase III study results from the APOLLO study evaluating patisiran, an investigational RNAi therapeutic for the treatment of patients with hereditary ATTR (hATTR) amyloidosis with polyneuropathy. Based on these results, the company submitted a new drug application (“NDA”) for patisiran and a Marketing Authorization Application (“MAA”) during the quarter. Notably, it expects to receive approval by mid-2018.
Moreover, the company and its partner, The Medicines Company, commenced three phase III studies – ORION -9, -10, and -11 – on inclisiran, an investigational RNAi therapeutic targeting PCSK9 in development for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia in patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) or heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HeFH).
During the quarter, the FDA lifted the temporary hold from phase III studies, evaluating fitusiran in patients with hemophilia A and B with or without inhibitors.
Alnylam announced restructuring of its rare disease alliance with Sanofi, following which the company gained global rights to patisiran and ALN-TTRsc02, while Sanofi obtained global rights to fitusiran.
Alnylam beat estimates on both counts in the fourth quarter. With several pipeline related events lined up and potential approval for patisiran, we expect investor focus to remain on the related updates.
Shares rose over 1.4% in after-hours trading in response to the strong quarterly results. In the past year, Alnylam’s share price has increased a massive 158.7%, against a 3.3% decline for the industry.
Zacks Rank & Stock to Consider
Alnylam carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked health care stock in the same space is Exelixis, Inc. (EXEL - Free Report) , carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Exelixis’ earnings per share estimates have moved up from 73 cents to 77 cents for 2018 over the last 30 days. The company pulled off positive earnings surprises in each of the trailing four quarters, with an average beat of 572.92%. The share price of the company has increased 22.6% in the past year.
The Hottest Tech Mega-Trend of All
Last year, it generated $8 billion in global revenues. By 2020, it's predicted to blast through the roof to $47 billion. Famed investor Mark Cuban says it will produce "the world's first trillionaires," but that should still leave plenty of money for regular investors who make the right trades early.
See Zacks' 3 Best Stocks to Play This Trend >>