Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ACHN incurred a loss of 14 cents per share in the first quarter of 2019, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 13 cents. However, it was narrower than the year-ago loss of 15 cents.
The company did not generate any revenues in the reported quarter in absence of an approved product in its portfolio.
The company’s shares were up 2.5% on May 10 following the earnings release despite the wider-than-expected loss. Shares of Achillion have soared 83% so far this year, significantly outperforming the industry’s increase of 3.3%.
Quarter in Detail
Research and development (R&D) expenses increased nearly 5.7% from the year-earlier period to $14.8 million, primarily due to increased research costs related to pipeline candidates ACH-4471 and ACH-5228, partially offset by lower personnel costs.
General and administrative expenses declined 13.3% year over year to $5.2 million due to lower legal fees and stock-based compensation.
Two phase II studies are evaluating Achillion’s first-generation oral factor D inhibitor, ACH-4471, in patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria ("PNH") and C3 glomerulopathy (C3G).
The company has completed enrollment in the phase II study evaluating ACH-4471 in combination with Alexion’s Soliris (eculizumab) for PNH.
Achillion is currently enrolling patients in two phase II C3G studies. Till May 24 patients were enrolled in the studies. Data from these studies is likely to form the basis for progress to the phase III development stage. An end-of-phase II meeting with the FDA is expected in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Achillion is also developing its next-generation factor D inhibitors, ACH-5228 and ACH-5548, in two separate phase I studies.
The company is anticipated to initiate a phase I study on ACH-5228 in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
Achillion currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A couple of better-ranked stocks in the biotech sector include Anika Therapeutics Inc. ANIK and BioTime, Inc. BTX, both sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Anika’s earnings estimates have been revised 4.9% upward for 2019 and 9.9% for 2020 over the past 60 days. The stock has gained 17.6% so far this year.
BioTime’s loss estimates narrowed 17.9% for 2019 and 21.4% for 2020 over the past 60 days. The stock has rallied 32.5% so far this year.
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