NEW YORK (AP) – A JMP Securities analyst has slashed her sales estimates for Savient Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s gout drug Krystexxa.
JMP Securities analyst Liisa Bayko cut her 2012 sales estimates for Krystexxa to $17 million from $42 million, and downgraded the stock to “Market Underperform” from “Market Perform.” Bayko wrote that she thinks rheumatologists, who are responsible for most Krystexxa prescriptions, are going to recommend a different treatment over Krystexxa, and sales will take another hit after competing drugs reach the market in a few years.
Krystexxa was approved in September 2010 as a treatment for gout in patients that have not responded to standard treatments, or for patients who can’t take certain drugs. Bayko said she does not think Savient will market Krystexxa to primary care doctors, who treat about 90 percent of chronic gout patients, because the additional sales would not be great enough to justify the expense.
She wrote that demand from rheumatologists, who treat the remaining patients, will continue to grow but she wrote that peak sales of Krystexxa won’t rise above around $60 million a year in the U.S. and Europe combined.
Bayko said several gout drug candidates are in development. Those include lesinurad, which is being studied by Ardea Biosciences Inc. In September Ardea said it reached an agreement with regulators about the design of late-stage clinical trials of the drug, which makes it more likely lesinurad will be approved if those studies are successful. Bayko wrote that lesinurad could be approved in 2014.
Savient did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Date: November 10, 2011
Source: Associated Press