Amarin Corporation plc (AMRN - Free Report) announced impressive preliminary second-quarter sales results, which led it to raise its total sales guidance for 2019. The company estimates second-quarter sales, mainly from its sole marketed drug, Vascepa, to be in the range of $97 million - $101 million. The preliminary sales number indicates year-over-year growth of approximately 84%-92%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for second-quarter sales stands at $91 million.
Consequently, the company raised its guidance for total sales in 2019 to the range of $380 to $420 million from the previous guidance of $350 million provided on its first-quarter earnings call.
Vascepa is approved in the United States as an adjunct to diet to reduce triglyceride levels in adult patients with severe (≥500 mg/dL) hypertriglyceridemia.
Strong estimated sales in the second quarter and consequent increase in guidance led to a rally of 16.3% in shares on Jul 2. Amarin’s shares have rallied 64.4% so far this year compared with the industry’s increase of 7%.
Meanwhile, a label expansion application looking to get approval for Vascepa to reduce cardiovascular risk in patients with persistent elevated triglycerides on statin therapy for LDL-C (bad cholesterol) is under review in the United States, The FDA will provide its decision by September. If approved, Vascepa will be the first drug for the indication in the United States.
Along with the latest release, the company also announced its plan to double its sales force to 800 by October to support the commercialization of Vascepa in the expanded label following a potential approval. The company is also planning to start multiple promotional and educational programs to create awareness about the potential expanded label of Vascepa.
Vascepa demonstrated strong growth in the first half of 2019. Potential approval for its label expansion will further boost the sales of the drug. The company is planning to submit a regulatory application seeking approval of Vascepa in Europe by the end of the year
Key players in Vascepa’s targeted indication are Sanofi (SNY - Free Report) and Amgen’s (AMGN - Free Report) PCSK9 inhibitors, Praluent and Repatha, respectively.
Zacks Rank and Stock to Consider
Amarin currently carries Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked stock in the biotech sector is BioDelivery Sciences (BDSI - Free Report) , sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
BioDelivery also witnessed positive estimate revision. Estimates for 2019 have narrowed from loss of 21 cents per share to 14 cents per share while that for 2020 earnings per share has increased from 20 cents to 25 cents over the past 60 days. The stock has increased 27.3% so far this year.
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