Market Overview

PropThink: Management says Ariad is Well-Prepared for Ponatinib Launch


By Jake King

On the heels of ponatinib's Priority Review announcement, Ariad Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ARIA) reported 3Q financial results Wednesday, and on its related conference call emphasized the preparation of a ponatinib-specific sales force. Pending ponatinib's approval for treatment of resistant or intolerant chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), Ariad believes they are fully prepared for a U.S. commercialization (PDUFA slated for March 27, 2013), and efforts are underway in the E.U. to assemble a similar sales force. Management expects European approval and launch in the third quarter of next year, and is committed to being launch-ready by July 1, 2013.

Ariad's net loss for the quarter was $53.2 million, or $0.32 per share, in tandem with consensus estimates despite a miss in revenue expectations, $.85M vs estimates of just under $1M. Last year the company reported a 3Q net income of $13.9 million, or $0.10 per share, and comparative decreases are due to growth of R&D and SG&A expenses, and higher licensing revenue in the previous year's quarter. Management said that costs related to sales representative training and hiring are a fourth quarter expense, and we expect SG&A expenses to continue rising through the end of the year. Ariad reported cash, equivalents, and investments of $206.7M. If the company successfully executes ponatinib's launch by the second quarter of next year, Ariad could swiftly move towards positive cash-flow.

Management briefly discussed recent entrants into the field of CML treatment, specifically Synribo from Teva (NYSE: TEVA) and Pfizer's (NYSE: PFE) Bosulif, both of which were approved in the second half of this year. The company does not expect either drug to pose a major threat to ponatinib based on superior efficacy and broader labeling potential for Ariad's drug. Management also noted that Gleevec's possible patent extension through 2019 would be positive for ponatinib; Gleevec, by Novartis (NYSE: NVS), is set to lose patent protection in 2015 unless Intellectual Property protection improves, and as the leading first-line CML treatment, a cheaper generic stands to make a major dent in the market for branded products. Ariad is also pursuing a first-line indication for ponatinib with the ongoing Phase III EPIC trial, which could release interim results in early 2014 depending on enrollment speed. Click here to continue reading.

See this article in its original form by clicking here.

About PropThink

PropThink is an intelligence service that delivers long and short trading ideas to investors in the healthcare and life sciences sectors. Our focus is on identifying and analyzing technically-complicated companies and equities that are grossly over or under-valued. We offer daily market coverage, weekly feature stories, and a newsletter to investors who subscribe on PropThink.com. To learn more, follow us on Twitter or visit us at http://www.propthink.com.

Disclaimer:

You should assume that as of the publication date of any report or letter, PropThink, LLC and persons or entities with whom it has relation ships (collectively referred to as "PropThink") has a position in all stocks (and/or options of the stock) covered herein that is consistent with the position set forth in our research report. Following publication of any report or letter, PropThink intends to continue transacting in the securities covered herein, and we may be long, short, or neutral at any time hereafter regardless of our initial recommendation. To the best of our knowledge and belief, all information contained herein is accurate and reliable, and has been obtained from public sources we believe to be accurate and reliable, and not from company insiders or persons who have a relationship with company insiders. PropThink was not compensated to publish this article. Our full disclaimer is available at http://www.propthink.com/disclaimer.







This announcement is distributed by Thomson Reuters on behalf of Thomson Reuters clients.

The owner of this announcement warrants that:
(i) the releases contained herein are protected by copyright and other applicable laws; and
(ii) they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the
information contained therein.

Source: PropThink via Thomson Reuters ONE

HUG#1655937

 

Around the Web, We're Loving...

Partner Network

Get Benzinga's Newsletters