Shares of Blueprint Medicines Corporation (BPMC - Free Report) were up around 2% on Friday after it announced first-quarter 2019 results on May 9. So far this year, the stock has gained 55.1%, outperforming the industry’s increase of 3.3%.
Blueprint Medicines incurred a loss of $1.98 per share in the first of 2019, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.83 and also the year-ago quarter’s loss of $1.29 due to higher operating costs .
Collaboration revenues, comprising the company’s total revenues, came in at $0.7 million, down 30% year over year. Moreover, the top line missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2 million.
Blueprint Medicines has no approved product in its portfolio at the moment. The revenues generated by the company are all related to its partnership with Roche (RHHBY - Free Report) and CStone Pharmaceuticals for the development and commercialization of its pipeline candidates.
Quarter in Detail
In the quarter, research and development expenses were $74.3 million, up 48.6% from the year-ago period’s figure, mainly owing to higher spending associated with the lead candidates’ development and higher personnel costs
General and administrative expenses were $16.6 million, up 67.7% year over year on account of higher personnel costs, professional fees and pre-commercial planning activities.
The company’s lead pipeline candidate, avapritinib, an inhibitor of KIT and PDGFRA proteins, is being evaluated in several late-stage studies for cancer indications. Blueprint Medicines plans to submit a new drug application (NDA) for avapritinib to treat PDGFRA Exon 18 mutant gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) and fourth-line GIST, two patient groups that currently have no approved therapies, in the second quarter of 2019. Moreover, it will file a regulatory application in Europe in third-quarter 2019.
Other than GIST, Blueprint Medicines is pursuing a broad clinical development program for avapritinib across the advanced, indolent and smoldering forms of systemic mastocytosis (SM). Avapritinib is currently being evaluated in two studies, namely the phase I EXPLORER clinical study and the registration-enabling phase II PATHFINDER study for advanced SM. The company plans to submit an NDA for avapritinib for the advanced SM indication in the first quarter of 2020.
Blueprint Medicines has several other pipeline candidates in early developmental stages.
BLU-667 in being studied in the phase I ARROW study in previously-treated patients with receptor tyrosine RET-fusion non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and RET-mutant medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC). The company announced encouraging interim top-line data from the study in March and expects to present data from the study at the ASCO meet next month. The company plans to submit an NDA for BLU-667 for the NSCLC indication in the first quarter of 2020 while the NDA for the MTC indication is expected to be filed in the first half of 2020.
By 2020, the company anticipates to have a couple of marketed products in the United States such as avapritinib and BLU-667. It also assumes to have at least four additional marketing applications pending in the United States and Europe.
Other pipeline candidates in phase I development are BLU-554 for hepatocellular carcinoma HCC, which is a type of liver carcinoma and BLU-782 for fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, a severely disabling genetic disease caused by mutations in the ALK2 gene. The company aims to begin a phase II study on BLU-782 in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Zacks Rank and Other Stocks to Consider
Blueprint Medicines currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Some other top-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 53.2% 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 42% this year so far.
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