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Achillion (ACHN) Reports Narrower-Than-Expected Loss in Q4

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Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  incurred a loss of 12 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2018, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 15 cents and the year-ago loss of 17 cents.

The company did not generate any revenues in the reported quarter in absence of an approved product in its portfolio.

Shares of Achillion have soared 67.3% so far this year, outperforming the industry’s increase of 11.1%.

Quarter in Detail

Research and development (R&D) expenses decreased nearly 20.8% from the year-earlier period to $12.2 million, primarily due to decreased personnel costs and low research costs related to ACH-5228.

General and administrative expenses declined 33.7% year over year to $5.9 million, thanks to payment of the underwriting fees.

Pipeline Update

Two phase II studies are evaluating the first-generation oral factor D inhibitor, ACH-4471, on patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) and C3 glomerulopathy (C3G).

Last December, Achillion announced positive interim data from the clinical study, evaluating its factor D inhibitor – ACH-4471. Results from the mid-stage analyses on ACH-4471 demonstrated a proof of concept as monotherapy or in combination with a C5 Inhibitor in PNH patients. Moreover, ACH-4471 achieved a proof of mechanism in C3G patients as well.

The company plans to report updated interim findings on ACH-4471 for PNH in combination with a C5 inhibitor during the second quarter of 2019. It plans to present data from PNH and C3G programs on ACH-4471 to the FDA in fourth-quarter 2019.

Achillion is also developing its next-generation factor D inhibitors, ACH-5228 and ACH-5548, in two separate phase I studies.

Last December, Achillion announced favorable interim data from the clinical studies, investigating its factor D inhibitors — ACH-5228 and ACH-5548. Outcomes from the early-stage probes examining ACH-5228 and ACH-5548 showed to have potential of higher alternative pathway inhibition along with a reduced dosing frequency.

Meanwhile, the company recently initiated a phase I ex-U.S. multiple ascending dose (MAD) study of ACH-5228 in the EU. On successful completion, Achillion plans to submit an investigational new drug (IND) application in the fourth quarter of 2019 to begin a phase I assessment in the United States.

Achillion expects net cash usage to be approximately $80 million in 2019.

Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Achillion currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the biotech sector include Celgene Corporation CELG, Kamada Ltd. KMDA and Compugen Ltd. CGEN, all sporting a Zacks Rank #1(Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Celgene’s earnings estimates have been revised 7.8% upward for 2019 over the past 60 days. The stock has surged 33.7% so far this year.

Kamada’s earnings estimates have moved 34.3% north for 2019 over the past 60 days. The stock has rallied 18.4% so far this year.

Compugen’s loss per share estimates have been narrowed 24% for 2019 in the last 60 days. The stock has soared 55.3% so far this year.

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