Corcept Therapeutics Inc. CORT reported adjusted fourth-quarter 2018 earnings of 24 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 21 cents. The bottom line also improved from the year-ago quarter’s figure of 19 cents on higher revenues.
Revenues recorded in the quarter under review rallied 25% from the prior-year quarter’s level to $66.8 million, which is in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Revenues increased as more physicians prescribed Cushing's syndrome drug, Korlym to patients. Corcept expects the number of physicians prescribing Korlym to grow further.
Last December, the United States Patent and Trademark Office allowed a patent covering the use of Korlym, enabling it to stiff-arm generic competitors for a longer period. The patent will expire in 2037.
Research and development expenses increased 38.2% to $18.8 million. Likewise, selling, general and administrative expenses rose 28.6% to $21.6 million.
Corcept’s lead compound for metabolic disorders is CORT118335. The company plans to conduct open placebo-controlled study in antipsychotic-induced weight gain in the second quarter of 2019, and two trials in the reversal of antipsychotic-induced weight gain in the second half of the year. The first study will evaluate the ability of CORT118335 to prevent weight gain in healthy subjects who are administered with Eli Lily’s LLY Zyprexa (olanzapine).
Another phase II study on CORT118335 as a treatment for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is also planned in the second half of 2019.
Corcept’s proprietary, selective cortisol modulator is relacorilant. In November 2018, Corcept dosed first patient in the phase III study of relacorilant to treat Cushing’s syndrome. The phase III study, GRACE is expected to enroll 130 patients with Cushing’s syndrome at sites in the United States, Canada and Europe. The FDA designated relacorilant as an Orphan Drug for the treatment of Cushing’s syndrome.
In June 2018, Corcept announced positive data from a phase I/II analysis on relacorilant in combination with Celgene's CELG Abraxane (nab-paclitaxel) to treat patients with solid tumors. A phase II study on relacorilant plus Abraxane is currently underway for the treatment of ovarian cancer. The company plans to enroll 180 patients across the United States and Europe.
Corcept expects to provide data from the dose-finding study of relacorilant plus Abraxane to treat patients with metastatic, pancreatic cancer in the second quarter of 2019.
Meanwhile, Corcept is dosing patients in its phase I/II study of CORT125281, a combined regime with Pfizer’s PFE Xtandi, to treat patients suffering from metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. The company plans to advance to phase II development this year.
Corcept reiterated its revenue guidance as provided in the previously announced preliminary results last month. The company expects revenues in the range of $285-$315 million, lower than the Zacks consensus of $319.18 million.
Corcept currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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