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BioDelivery's Belbuca Sales & Symproic Addition Encouraging

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We issued an updated research report on BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc. (BDSI - Free Report) on Nov 28. Shares of the company have surged 78.6% so far this year compared with the industry’s growth of 4.5%.

The company’s portfolio consists of three marketed products — Belbuca (buprenorphine HCl buccal film for chronic pain), Bunavail (buprenorphine/naloxone buccal film for opioid dependence) and Symproic (opioid-induced constipation).

Belbuca, which is the major revenue generator for the company, has shown encouraging growth in the last few quarters. Notably, it re-acquired all rights to the drug from Endo International (ENDP - Free Report) in 2017 and has been focusing on boosting the drug’s sales.

The company signed several commercial agreements with Medicare insurers in the United States, including Cigna Corporation (CI - Free Report) to increase accessibility to Belbuca for covered patients in the country. The company’s efforts have brought more than 165 million patients under coverage so far in 2019 (more than 104 million with preferred coverage), beginning with 7 million in 2018. Moreover, the company has expanded its sales force to support the growth of the drug. These efforts have resulted in a significant increase in the drug’s sales, evident from the sequential prescription volumes growth over the last few quarters. Sales of $69.3 million from the drug in the first nine months of 2019 were up almost 130% from the year-ago period.

Meanwhile, in April, BioDelivery Sciences acquired U.S. commercial rights to Symproic from Japan-based Shionogi. The acquisition looks encouraging as sales from the drug were up 39% year over year in the third quarter of 2019. Moreover, the company raised the long-term potential for its marketed portfolio following this acquisition. It expects long-term sales from Belbuca and Symproic to reach $325-$400 million compared with $250-$300 million previously from Belbuca alone.

Sales of BioDelivery Sciences’ third marketed drug, Bunavail, had been lackluster. However, the company is focusing on the most growth-oriented territories to boost the drug’s sales.

Moreover, the company’s guidance for total sales in 2020 represents nearly 60% growth at mid-point compared to full-year sales expectation for 2019.

Zacks Rank & Another Key Pick

BioDelivery Sciences currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Alkermes plc (ALKS - Free Report) is another top-ranked biotech stock, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Alkermes’ earnings estimates increased from 36 cents to 52 cents for 2019 and estimates improved from a loss of 11 cents to earnings of 59 cents for 2020 over the past 60 days. The company beat estimates in the trailing four quarters by 236.8%, on average.

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