Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ISIS), which reported a narrower-than-expected loss in the second quarter of 2014, saw its shares gain 8.6% following the release of second quarter results earlier this week.
Although the company's second quarter 2014 loss of 10 cents per share was wider than the year-ago loss of 9 cents per share, it was narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 12 cents per share.
Second quarter revenues grew 49.8% from the year-ago quarter to $57.1 million, well above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $42 million. Revenues were driven by milestone payments of more than $40 million.
R&D expenses increased 39% year over year to $59.3 million. G&A expenses increased 31.7% year over year to $4.5 million.
The company continues to progress with its pipeline. Isis Pharma intends to initiate a phase III study on ISIS-APOCIIIRx in patients suffering from familial chylomicronemia syndrome (FCS) shortly and a second phase III study later this year in patients with triglycerides higher than 880 milligrams per deciliter.
As far as the FOCUS FH study on Kynamro is concerned, data should be out early next year.
Meanwhile, Isis Pharma presented positive phase II data on ISIS-GCGRRx for type II diabetes and intends to conduct additional studies to identify the optimal dose and schedule to achieve glucose control with manageable glucagon receptor-related liver enzyme elevations.
Isis Pharma has partnered programs with Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB) and Roche (RHHBY) among others. Under its collaboration with Biogen, Isis Pharma initiated a phase III study (:ENDEAR) on ISIS-SMNRx for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) in infants. The company remains on track to commence a phase III study evaluating ISIS-SMNRx in children with SMA later this year.
Isis Pharma is developing ISIS-HTTRx for the treatment of Huntington’s disease in collaboration with Roche.
In 2014, Isis Pharma continues to expect net operating loss in the low $50 million range and a cash balance of more than $575 million. The company continues to expect revenues of more than $160 million in 2014 including amortization of upfront fees (more than $45 million) and milestone payments (about $110 million).
We are positive on Isis Pharma’s agreements with several companies including Biogen, Roche and AstraZeneca (AZN) – these agreements have not only validated its antisense technology, they also provide Isis Pharma with funds in the form of upfront, milestone and other payments. We are also pleased with Isis Pharma’s progress with its pipeline.
Isis Pharma is a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock. AstraZeneca is a better-ranked stock with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).