Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ARNA - Free Report) reported adjusted loss of $1.07 per share for the first-quarter of 2019, which was wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 82 cents.
The adjusted loss excludes an income tax provision of $110 million and revenues of $785.5 million (net of costs) received from United Therapeutics, Inc. (UTHR - Free Report) as upfront payment. The company had incurred loss of 80 cents per share in the year-ago quarter.
In January 2019, Arena out-licensed the global rights to its pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), candidate, ralinepag to United Therapeutics. The company received an upfront payment of $800 million and is eligible to receive up to $400 million in potential milestone payments and tiered low double-digit royalties on the net sales of ralinepag from United Therapeutics, which is now responsible for further development and commercialization of the candidate.
Arena’s total revenues came in at $801.1 million, including upfront payment of $800 million from United Therapeutics. Revenues included $0.97 million of royalty revenues and $0.08 million of collaboration revenues, The Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues was pegged at $6 million. In the year-ago quarter, Arena had recorded $1.8 million as collaboration/royalty revenues.
Shares of Arena increased 1.2% in after-hours trading on Wednesday. Moreover, the stock has gained 27.1% this year so far, outperforming the industry’s increase of 3.2%.
Research & development (R&D) expenses soared 110.4% from the prior-year level to $45.4 million.
General and administrative expenses surged 48.7% from the year-ago level to $16.6 million.
Arena’s pipeline currently consists of two key candidates, namely etrasimod (autoimmune diseases) and olorinab (pain and fibrotic diseases).
Etrasimod is presently in mid-stage development for ulcerative colitis. In January 2019, the company announced positive data from its open label extension (OLE) of the phase II OASIS study demonstrating sustained clinical response and clinical remission in patients after 46 weeks of treatment. The company is preparing to start phase III study on the candidate for the given indication by mid-2019. Etrasimod has the potential to be developed for additional indications beyond ulcerative colitis. The company is planning to initiate a phase II/III study to develop it for Crohn's disease. The company is also planning to start a phase II study in patients with atopic dermatitis.
Another candidate, olorinab (APD371) was successful in a phase IIa study evaluating it as a treatment for pain associated with Crohn's disease. A phase IIb study is being planned for the treatment of gastrointestinal pain.
Zacks Rank & Key Picks
Arena currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the biotech sector include Celsion Corporation (CLSN - Free Report) and Fibrocell Science Inc (FCSC - Free Report) , both sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Celsion’s loss estimates narrowed from 94 cents to 78 cents for both 2019 and 2020 over the past 60 days. Its shares have risen 55.3% this year so far.
Fibrocell’s loss estimates narrowed from $2.68 to $1.15 for 2019 and from $2.55 to 97 cents for 2020 over the past 60 days. The stock has gone up 52% this year so far.
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