Jazz Pharmaceuticals Plc (JAZZ - Free Report) announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its non-opioid pain drug Prialt to small drugmaker TerSera Therapeutics for $80 million in cash upon closing. The deal is expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2018, subject to customary closing conditions. As part of the transaction, TerSera will employ a majority of the Jazz employees, previously dedicated to Prialt.
Prialt is a non-opioid agent, indicated to reduce severe chronic pain in adult patients for whom intrathecal therapy (“IT”) is warranted and who are intolerant of, or whose pain is, refractory to other treatments, such as systemic analgesics, adjunctive therapies or IT morphine. However, sales of the drug have been declining recently.
Prialt revenues dropped 20.6% year over year to $6.1 million in the first quarter of 2018. We believe, selling rights to this drug is a prudent decision by Jazz as it will allow it to concentrate on its other marketed products like Xyrem, indicated to treat cataplexy and excessive daytime sleepiness in narcolepsy patients.
After suffering lower-than-expected sales in 2017, Xyrem witnessed improved volume trends during the first quarter, supported by the company’s disease awareness education efforts, which enhanced the diagnosis rate of new narcolepsy patients. Management seems confident of generating volume growth in 2018 and beyond.
In a separate press release, the company announced that the European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) issued a positive opinion recommending marketing authorization for Vyxeos pertaining to the treatment of adult patients with newly diagnosed, therapy-related acute myeloid leukaemia (“t-AML”) or AML with myelodysplasia-related changes (“AML-MRC”).
Jazz Pharmaceuticals filed a Marketing Authorisation Application (MAA) for Vyxeos in November 2017 after the CHMP granted an accelerated assessment.
The positive opinion from the CHMP will be reviewed by the European Commission and if approved, the drug will become the first chemotherapy treatment option for European patients in the given indication.
Vyxeos is already marketed in the United States since last August.
The drug is witnessing growing demand trends in the United States. The company has set up a dedicated AML sales team for reaching out to a wider physician community and also for promoting the recent inclusion in the guidelines of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.
Shares of Jazz Pharmaceuticals have rallied 28% year to date, outperforming the industry’s increase of 2.2%.
Jazz currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other stocks worth considering from the pharma sector include ChemoCentryx, Inc. (CCXI - Free Report) , CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP - Free Report) and Taro Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TARO - Free Report) , all sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here
ChemoCentryx’s loss per share estimates has been narrowed by 24% for 2018 and 0.8% for 2019 in the last 60 days. The stock has skyrocketed 121.4% year to date.
CRISPR Therapeutics’ loss per share estimates has been narrowed by 7.8% for 2018 and 9% for 2019 in the last 60 days. The stock has soared by a staggering 150.2% year to date.
Taro Pharmaceutical’s earnings estimates have been revised 13% upward for 2018 and 12.4% for 2019 in the past 60 days. The stock has gained 10.5 % so far this year.
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