Narrower-than-Expected Loss at Supernus

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Supernus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (SUPN) reported second quarter 2013 net loss per share of 57 cents, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 67 cents and the year-ago loss of 60 cents. Second quarter revenues were $281,000, compared with $91,000 in the year-ago quarter. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues was $1 million.

In the reported quarter, research and development expenses were $3.5 million, compared with $4.7 million in the year-ago quarter. The decrease was primarily due to the completion of a phase IIb study on SPN-810.

In the reported quarter, selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses were $12.2 million, compared with $4.6 million in the year-ago quarter. The increase was due to higher marketing costs for the Oxtellar XR launch and costs associated with prelaunch activities for Trokendi XR.

In Feb 2013, Supernus launched its antiepileptic drug, Oxtellar XR, in the U.S. The company reported meaningful growth in the Oxtellar XR prescriber base in the second quarter of 2013, totaling 3,648, up from 529 in the first quarter. Since its launch, more than 1,100 target physicians have prescribed Oxtellar XR.

We note that Trokendi XR, an epilepsy candidate, received tentative FDA approval in Jun 2012. A request for final approval was filed in Dec 2012. Supernus intends to launch Trokendi XR in the third quarter of 2013.

SPN-810 is being developed for the treatment of impulsive aggression in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder patients. Supernus expects to meet the FDA by year end to discuss plans for later stage clinical studies.

2013 Outlook

Supernus continues to expect cash burn of $85 million to $95 million in 2013.

Supernus carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Currently, companies like Pharmacyclics, Inc. (PCYC)Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc. (QCOR) and Actelion Ltd. (ALIOF) look well positioned with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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