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Acadia Pharmaceuticals Beats Expectations in Q2

Keith Speights, The Motley Fool

It's been an interesting month for Acadia Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ACAD). The biotech announced disappointing results last week from a late-stage study of Nuplazid in treating schizophrenia patients with persistent inadequate response to their current antipsychotic therapy. Acadia's shares tanked, only to make a strong rebound in recent days.

The company's second-quarter results announced after the market closed on Wednesday might add fuel to the fire of that rebound. Here's what you need to know about Acadia's Q2 update.

A line of full test tubes with a dropper.

Image source: Getty Images.

By the numbers

Acadia reported that its revenue jumped 46% year over year in Q2 to $83.2 million. This blew away the consensus analysts' revenue estimate of $72.12 million.

The company announced a generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) net loss in the second quarter of $54.9 million, or $0.38 per share. However, this represented improvement from the net loss of $63 million, or $0.51 per share, reported in the same quarter of 2018. It was also better than the average analysts' estimate of a net loss of $0.45 per share.

At this stage in the game, one of the most important numbers for Acadia is its cash position. The company reported cash, cash equivalents, and investment securities totaling $381.9 million as of the end of the second quarter. Acadia has used $91.6 million in cash since the end of 2018.

Behind the numbers

Nuplazid continues to pick up momentum, which is exactly what Acadia likes to see. What's especially impressive is that the drug generated quarter-over-quarter sales growth of 32%.

Acadia's improving bottom line stemmed in large part from increasing sales for Nuplazid. It also helped that the company kept its selling, general, and administrative (SG&A) expenses under control. SG&A expenses fell to $68 million in Q2 from $69.5 million in the prior-year period due to lower direct-to-consumer advertising.

On the other hand, Acadia's research and development (R&D) costs are increasing. R&D costs in Q2 rose to $67.3 million, up 44% year over year. These higher costs resulted from development associated with experimental drug trofinetide and additional clinical trials for Nuplazid.

Looking ahead

Acadia boosted its full-year guidance based on its strong Q2 results. The company now expects that Nuplazid sales in 2019 will be between $320 million and $330 million. That's up sharply from the previous range of $280 million to $300 million. However, Acadia also projects that its SG&A costs will increase to between $300 million and $315 million, up from its previous guidance of $280 million to $295 million.

There are plenty of things to look forward to with Acadia's pipeline as well. The biotech plans to initiate a phase 3 study of trofinetide in treating Rett syndrome in the fourth quarter. Acadia anticipates announcing results from the Advance study evaluating pimavanserin (Nuplazid) in schizophrenia negative symptoms in December. It also expects to announce top-line results from the dementia-related psychosis study of pimavanserin in the second half of next year, with interim results coming later in 2019.

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Keith Speights has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.