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Narrower-than-Expected Loss at Pacira

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Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (PCRX) reported second quarter 2013 net loss per share of 42 cents, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 46 cents, but wider than the year-ago loss of 23 cents.

Second quarter revenues rose 38.9% year over year to $17.1 million, above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $16 million.

Net revenues included product revenues, collaborative licensing and development revenue and royalty revenues. Net Exparel revenues were $15.2 million, up sequentially by 46.2%. Exparel, indicated for administration into the surgical site to produce postsurgical analgesia, was launched in Apr 2012. In the first year of launch, it generated revenues of $25.1 million.

At the end of the reported quarter, 1,435 distinct customers ordered Exparel since launch. Pacira reported an average of 30 new customers per week in the reported quarter.

Pacira also announced a new study this quarter for the use of Exparel infiltrated into the transversus abdominis plane for postsurgical analgesia in abdominal hernia repair.

Pacira remains on track with its plans to expand its manufacturing facility and anticipates receiving FDA approval for the newly installed manufacturing facility, Suite C, in early 2014.

Research and development expenses soared 159.5% year over year to $4.9 million, mainly due to costs associated with the development of Exparel as a femoral nerve block for total knee arthroplasty surgery and intercostal nerve block for thoracotomy. Selling, general and administrative expenses increased 35.2% year over year to $14.1 million, primarily driven by commercialization efforts for Exparel.

Pacira carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Currently, companies like Pharmacyclics, Inc. (PCYC), Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc. (QCOR) and Anika Therapeutics Inc. (ANIK)  look well-positioned with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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