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Raptor Pharma's Procysbi Launched in the US

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Raptor Pharmaceutical Corp.’s (RPTP) Procysbi delayed-release capsules were recently launched in the US for the treatment of patients suffering from nephropathic cystinosis.

In Apr 2013, the US Food and Drug Administration (:FDA) approved Procysbi for the treatment of nephropathic cystinosis in adults as well as in children above 6 years of age.

The FDA cleared Procysbi on the basis of positive data from six clinical trials. Consistent cystine depletion was observed in one of the phase III studies over the full dosing period of 12 hours. The study also revealed that disease progression was delayed due to sustained cystine depletion.

On receiving the US approval of Procysbi, Raptor Pharma received the second tranche of $25 million under its loan agreement with HealthCare Royalty Partners (HC Royalty). In Dec 2012, the companies signed a loan agreement under which Raptor Pharma agreed to borrow $50 million for Procysbi. The first tranche of $25 million was received in Dec 2012. The loan is expected to mature in 2019.

Raptor Pharma also mentioned in its press release that around 500 patients in the US and around 2000 across the globe suffer from nephropathic cystinosis.

Meanwhile, Raptor Pharma also has an interesting pipeline. The key pipeline candidate at Raptor Pharma is RP103. A randomized, double-blind, multicenter phase II/III trial evaluating RP103 for the treatment of Huntington’s disease patients with cysteamine is ongoing. The company has received orphan drug designation from the FDA for RP103 for the Huntington’s disease indication. The candidate is also being studied under a phase IIb trial for the treatment of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in children.

Raptor Pharma, a biopharma stock, presently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other biopharma stocks such as Jazz Pharmaceuticals Public Limited Company (JAZZ), Santarus, Inc. (SNTS) and Protalix BioTherapeutics, Inc. (PLX) currently look more attractive with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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