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Aegerion rises on strong 2Q Juxtapid sales

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Aegerion Pharmaceuticals Inc. rose Tuesday after the company reported strong second-quarter sales of its cholesterol disorder drug Juxtapid and nearly doubled its revenue estimate for the year.

Aegerion said sales of the drug totaled $6.5 million in the second quarter, well above Wall Street estimates.

Aegerion stock gained $4.12, or 5.3 percent, to $81.35 in afternoon trading. The stock has more than tripled this year.

Juxtapid is a pill designed to treat a rare condition called homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, which causes high levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol. The Food and Drug Administration approved the drug in December, and in May a European Union regulatory panel recommended that Juxtapid receive marketing approval. Aegerion hopes for approval there in August.

Aegerion said 215 patients are taking Juxtapid right now, and 463 prescriptions for the drug have been written.

In the second quarter Aegerion said it lost $18.9 million, or 66 cents per share. A year ago the company took a loss of $13.9 million, or 63 cents per share. Aegerion had no revenue a year ago, but its spending increased as it began marketing Juxtapid.

Analysts expected the company to report a loss of 62 cents per share and $4.2 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

For the full year Aegerion is forecasting $30 million to $35 million in revenue, up from its previous estimate of $15 million to $25 million. Analysts expected $31.7 million on average.