Amarin (NASDAQ: AMRN) said sales of its flagship drug Vascepa were far better in the first half of 2019 than it had originally anticipated. The strong sales witnessed in the first six months of the year has prompted the Irish biopharmaceutical firm to raise its total 2019 revenue guidance to a range of $380 million to $420 million from the prior projection of $350 million.
Wall Street welcomed this announcement, sending the stock spiking up to 10% during pre-market hours on Tuesday. The stock has gained about 48% since the beginning of this year.
Initial estimates suggest that revenues for the first half of 2019 came in between $170 million and $174 million, the company said. This represents about 80% increase from the year-over period.
Most of this growth was driven by prescription sales in the US, Amarin said in a statement.
Separately, Amarin has submitted a supplemental new drug application (sNDA) with the US Food and Drug Administration seeking to expand the indication for Vascepa. If accepted, it would help in broadening Amarin’s market base.
The company is also in the process of accelerating its commercialization plans for Vascepa in the US by doubling its sales force to around 800 representatives. The move is aimed at meeting the rising demand in the US.
CEO John Thero said, “We anticipate Vascepa revenue growth to accelerate further after label expansion approval and with a larger sales team, and then again after we commence promotion of Vascepa for cardiovascular risk reduction on television and through other media.”
During the first quarter, Amarin said its revenues soared 67% to $73.3 million, riding on the strong demand for its Vascepa capsules as well as higher commercialization fees from its licensed partners. The top line surpassed Wall Street projection of $72.2 million.
The company, however, reported a loss of 5 cents per share, as it incurred more expenses related to its label expansion applications, besides higher marketing costs. However, this was narrower than analysts’ expectation of a loss of 11 cents per share.