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Why La Jolla Pharmaceutical Is Tumbling Today

Brian Feroldi, The Motley Fool

What happened

Shares of La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company (NASDAQ: LJPC), a commercial-stage biopharma focused on life-threating diseases, were down 21% as of 11:55 a.m. EDT Thursday. The huge drop is traceable to the release of second-quarter results that missed the mark. 

So what

Here's a look at the key figures from La Jolla's second quarter:

  • Sales of Giapreza -- the company's recently launched drug that treats a sudden drop in blood pressure -- totaled $1.6 million for the period. That was well short of the $2.5 million in total sales that Wall Street was expecting.
  • Net loss was $52.3 million, or $2.02 per share. This figure was also worse than the $1.91 loss that market watchers' had predicted.
  • Cash balance at quarter-end was $241 million. 
DRugs spilled over money

Image source: Getty Images.

The lower-than-hoped-for results caused traders to head for the exits.

Now what

Giapreza has only been on the market for a few months, so it's still too early to draw any real conclusions about its chances of achieving commercial success.

La Jolla is expecting to hear from European regulators about a go/no-go decision on Giapreza in the second half of the year. If the regulatory decision is positive, the drug's addressable market opportunity could grow by more than half, so this remains a major catalyst for investors to look forward to.

If you're bullish on Giapreza's potential and think that European regulators will give it the thumbs-up, then right now might not be a bad time to consider picking up a few shares.

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Brian Feroldi has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.