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Aegerion to Raise Funds

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Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. recently announced its intention to raise funds through the issuance of its common stock in an underwritten public offering.

The funds raised through this offering should come in handy for the commercialization of Aegerion’s recently approved Juxtapid. Juxtapid, which gained US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in Dec 2012, has been approved for the treatment of patients suffering from homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HoFH) as an adjunct to a low-fat diet and other lipid-lowering therapies.

As part of its post-marketing requirements, the company is required to conduct a juvenile toxicology study in rodents. The study will provide information on the impact of Juxtapid on growth and development. This study needs to be conducted before the company can initiate a study in pediatric patients, potentially in 2014.

Cash and cash equivalents at the end of 2012 was roughly $78 million to $83 million.

Neutral on Aegerion

We are encouraged with the US approval of Juxtapid. The company recently provided guidance for 2013. For 2013, Aegerion expects to generate revenue between $15 million to $25 million assuming 250 to 300 patients are on Juxtapid therapy by the end of the year.

Once Juxtapid is approved in the EU, the company expects to achieve an annualized worldwide net revenues run rate of $100 million eighteen months after EU approval. The company also expects to achieve cash flow breakeven from operations eighteen months after EU approval.

However, we note that Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. is also looking to enter the market with its HoFH candidate, Kynamro, which is currently under review in the US.

We currently have a Neutral recommendation on Aegerion. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Right now, Cambrex Corporation (CBM - Free Report) looks attractive with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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