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Wider-Than-Expected Loss at Avanir

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Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. reported first quarter fiscal 2013 net loss per share of 9 cents, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 8 cents, but narrower than the year-ago loss of 12 cents.

First quarter revenues soared 130% year over year to $16.5 million, marginally above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $16 million.

Net revenues included Nuedexta revenue and royalty revenue from Abreva. Net Nuedexta revenues grew 20% sequentially to $14.9 million. Nuedexta is approved for the treatment of patients suffering from pseudobulbar affect (PBA).

Research and development expenses increased 77% year over year to $6.6 million. Selling, general and administrative expenses grew 5.2% year over year to $20.1 million.

Pipeline Update

The first-in-human phase I clinical study of AVP-786 which was initiated in Nov 2012 has completed the first stage. The study assessed the candidate’s single and multiple dose pharmacokinetics.

Meanwhile, AVP-923 is being studied for four indications, namely, Alzheimer's disease (phase II ongoing), central neuropathic pain in multiple sclerosis (phase II ongoing), levodopa-induced-dyskinesia (LID) in Parkinson's disease (PD) (phase II ongoing) and diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain (phase III ongoing).

Avanir plans to speed up the PRIME study (neuropathic pain related to multiple sclerosis) being conducted with AVP-923. Avanir expects to have top-line data from the PRIME study in the fourth quarter of calendar 2013.

Avanir currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Right now, Furiex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. , Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and Valeant Pharma (VRX - Free Report) look more attractive with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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