Intercept Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ICPT) on Wednesday reported second-quarter results that surpassed Wall Street expectations, riding on the strong growth of its liver treatment Ocaliva.
Second-quarter revenue rose 52% to $66.3 million, as Ocliva sales improved 53% year-over-year. This was better than the Wall Street projection of $58.7 million.
Meanwhile, the company reported a net narrower loss of $71.4 million, or $2.28 per share, compared to $75.2 million, or $2.58 per share in the prior year quarter. Analysts had projected a wider loss of $2.60 per share.
The New York-based biotech did not change its 2019 Ocaliva net sales guidance range, which was projected between $235 million and $245 million. Guidance for adjusted operating expenses was also kept unchanged in the range of $470 million to $500 million.
Intercept shares ended their last trading session up 3.36% on Tuesday. ICPT stock is down 50% in the past four months, after the company reported some side effects including itching for Ocaliva when used in the treatment for NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis), despite positive data from phase 3 trials.
Though Ocaliva is the most advanced drug being tested for this liver disease, investors remained cautious as rival Gilead Sciences’ (NASDAQ: GILD) phase 2 NASH candidate does not report these side-effects.
Gilead’s own most advanced NASH candidate selonsertib had earlier this year failed in the Phase 3 efficacy tests.
Executive Vice President of Intercept’s Research & Development said, “As the only Phase 3 study currently being conducted in this more advanced segment of the NASH population, we’ve been pleased with the strong momentum we’ve seen in screening and randomization rates, and even after expanding REVERSE, remain on track to complete target enrollment this year.
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