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Prospects Bright at Alexion Pharma

Zacks Equity Research

Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASD:ALXN) said at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference that it is on track to deliver 36% and 41% year-over-year growth in revenues and earnings respectively in 2013.  The revenue growth is attributable to strong sales of the biopharmaceutical company’s sole marketed product Soliris. Soliris is available for the treatment of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (:PNH) and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS).

Alexion Pharma expects 2013 revenues in the range of $1.520–$1.530 billion. The company expects adjusted earnings for 2013 in the range of $3.02 to $3.04 per share. The company will provide detailed guidance for 2014 at its fourth quarter 2013 conference call later this month.

Alexion Pharma is expecting six product approvals within the time period of 2014 to 2018 including asfotase alfa (hypophosphatasia), ALXN 1101 (MoCD type A) and Soliris’ label expansion. Asfotase alfa is expected to be approved by year end. This will reduce the company’s dependence on Soliris for growth.

In a bid to expand, Alexion Pharma inked a deal with the privately held Moderna Therapeutics for the discovery and development of messenger ribo nucleic acid (mRNA) therapeutics to treat patients suffering from rare diseases. The drug discovery platform can expedite the development and manufacture of candidates for treating patients with rare diseases. Under the terms of the deal, Alexion will make an upfront payment of $100 million to Moderna for purchasing 10 product options to develop and commercialize therapies utilizing the mRNA platform. Alexion pharma, which has made a $25 million preferred equity investment in Moderna, will have to make milestone and royalty payments to the latter if situation arises.

We expect Alexion to deliver impressive fourth quarter 2013 revenues driven by strong Soliris sales in the PNH and aHUS indications.

Alexion Pharma carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the biopharma space include Actelion Ltd. (OTC:ALIOF), Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASD:ALNY) and Medivation, Inc. (NASD:MDVN). While Actelion carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Alnylam and Medivation hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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