BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc. (BDSI - Free Report) incurred a loss of 5 cents per share for first-quarter 2019, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 8 cents. In the year-ago quarter, the company had incurred a loss of 18 cents per share.
Revenues totaled $19.8 million, up 75.2% from the year-ago period figure and 10% sequentially. The uptick was mainly driven by higher sales of Belbuca. The top line also outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $19.6 million.
Following the better-than-expected quarterly results, shares of BioDelivery increased 1.8% in after-market hours on May 6. So far this year, the company has gained 32.7% compared with the industry’s 5.1% increase.
Quarter in Detail
BioDelivery’s chronic pain drug, Belbuca, continued with its solid momentum of 2018 into the first quarter. The drug generated revenues of $18.7 million in the quarter under review, rising 17.6% sequentially. On a year-over-year basis, the top line surged 133.8%. Notably, the company reacquired worldwide rights to Belbuca in early 2017 from Endo International Plc (ENDP - Free Report) .
Furthermore, the company recorded all-time high prescription volumes of almost 65,230 prescriptions for Belbuca in the first quarter. Prescription volume for Belbuca expanded 16% sequentially and 141% year over year.
In 2018, BioDelivery successfully added Belbuca to the preferred coverage list of several pharmacy benefit managers. In February 2019, the company added the drug to a preferred formulary of Cigna Healthcare — the managed care division of Cigna Corporation (CI - Free Report) . With this addition, the company brought 115 million patients under preferred coverage, having started with 7 million in 2018. It has also expanded its sales force to support growth and reach of the drugs to eligible or covered patients.
The company added approximately 1,260 new patients to Belbuca treatment during the quarter, higher than the 1,100 new patients in the previous quarter. Management seems confident about Belbuca’s strong performance in 2019. Moreover, the settlement of the patent litigation with Teva Pharmaceuticals (TEVA - Free Report) in early 2018 will keep generic competition at bay till mid-2027.
Sales of Bunavail, indicated for the treatment of opioid dependence, were $1.1 million in the first quarter, mirroring a decline of 38.9% year over year.
In April, BioDelivery inked an exclusive licensing agreement with Japanese pharma company, Shionogi, to acquire U.S. commercial rights to the latter’s tablet for opioid induced constipation (“OIC”) Symproic (naldemedine). BioDelivery has started promoting the drug in U.S. market starting May 2.
Meanwhile, operating expenses increased 6.3% to $17 million due to continued investment in commercialization efforts for Belbuca. However, operating expenses fell 8.1% sequentially.
BioDelivery raised its 2019 guidance for total revenues to the range of $92-$100 million from $85-$90 million predicted earlier. This upside can be attributed to the addition of Symproic to the company’s commercial portfolio. The guided range is slightly lower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $100.71 million.
The company currently expects Belbuca sales for 2019 to be between $83 million and $88 million compared with $80 million and $85 million anticipated earlier. Symproic sales are projected to be in the $7-$9 million band.
Furthermore, the company anticipates its operating cash flow to turn positive in the current year.
Zacks Rank & Key Pick
BioDelivery 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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