ARIAD provides update on corporate developments, reports Q1 2014 financial results

ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARIA) today reported financial results for the first quarter of 2014, including revenue from sales of Iclusig® (ponatinib) and licensing agreements. The Company also provided an update on corporate developments.

"As we reintroduce Iclusig into the U.S. market and continue with the European launch this year, our key priorities are to rebuild confidence in Iclusig and to improve the benefit/risk profile of the drug," said Harvey J. Berger, M.D., chairman and chief executive officer of ARIAD. "Early launch data in the U.S. represent approximately 10 weeks of promotion with a revised product label and show strong market support for Iclusig from community and academic physicians and across a wide spectrum of patients with Philadelphia-positive leukemias. We are making solid progress in both the U.S. and European markets, giving us confidence in our full-year outlook for Iclusig. In addition, we have initiated a pivotal trial of AP26113 in patients with refractory non-small cell lung cancer."

2014 First Quarter Financial Results


Total revenue for the quarter ended March 31, 2014 was $11.8 million, which includes product revenue from sales of Iclusig and license revenue.

Net product revenues from sales of Iclusig were $8.0 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2014, compared to $6.4 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2013, a 25% increase. Net product revenues include Iclusig revenues of $4.7 million in the U.S. and $3.3 million in Europe. Net revenues reported do not include $3.1 million related to the following items:

  • Deferred revenue of $1.3 million in the U.S., representing Iclusig inventory on hand at our specialty pharmacy as of March 31, 2014 but not yet shipped to patients as of the end of the quarter.
  • Shipments of $1.8 million of Iclusig to patients in France during the first quarter ($14.7 million cumulatively through March 31, 2014), which will be recorded as revenue, when pricing and reimbursement negotiations in France are completed and the list price is determined. We anticipate that this will occur around year-end 2014. Underlying patient demand during the first quarter was consistent with 2013 levels.

License revenues for the first quarter of 2014 were $3.8 million, reflecting primarily $3.75 million in milestone payments from Medinol, Ltd. under our license agreement for the development and commercialization of drug-eluting stents incorporating our mTOR inhibitor, ridaforolimus. These milestone payments were triggered upon commencement of patient enrollment by Medinol in two clinical trials of its NIRsupreme™ Ridaforolimus-Eluting Coronary Stent System and submission of an Investigational Device Exemption to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Net Income/Loss

Net loss for the quarter ended March 31, 2014 was $49.8 million, or $0.27 per share, compared to net loss of $64.7 million, or $0.36 per share, for the same period in 2013.

Research and development expenses decreased by $12.7 million, or 31%, from the first quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2014, predominantly reflecting decreased clinical-trial costs, as well as decreased manufacturing and other supporting costs related to Iclusig clinical trials. These decreases are primarily due to the partial clinical hold placed on certain trials by the FDA, as well as the discontinuation of the EPIC trial in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Selling, general and administrative expenses increased by $2.1 million, or 7%, from the first quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2014, reflecting investment in the commercial re-launch of Iclusig in the U.S., expanding Iclusig commercialization in Europe and related activities.

Cash Position

As of March 31, 2014, cash and cash equivalents totaled $183.0 million, compared to $237.2 million at December 31, 2013.

Recent Progress on Key Objectives

Commercialization of Iclusig

  • Through March 31, 2014, approximately 340 patients in the U.S. received Iclusig obtained commercially based on physicians' prescriptions. By the end of the first quarter, there were nearly 300 unique prescribers of Iclusig.
  • Approximately 60 percent of prescribers are community-based physicians, with the remainder being physicians practicing in academic hospitals. We expect that adoption of Iclusig among community oncologists and hematologists will continue to increase as commercialization progresses further.
  • In Europe, we are selling Iclusig in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Austria, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. This year, we expect to expand commercialization of Iclusig to all of the major markets in Europe - 16 countries - based on staged achievement of pricing and reimbursement approvals in each country. We anticipate that most of the EU pricing approvals will occur in the second half of 2014.
  • The review of Iclusig under the Article 20 procedure by the Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) is ongoing in Europe. This procedure is aimed at obtaining a better understanding of the adverse events observed with Iclusig and proposing potential ways to further improve its benefit/risk profile. We have received the PRAC list of preliminary outstanding issues being discussed at its ongoing meeting this week. We expect to receive the final list of follow-up questions from the PRAC at the conclusion of this meeting and anticipate a recommendation by the PRAC and an opinion by the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use in July, two months later than originally anticipated.

Iclusig Clinical Development

  • Five investigator-sponsored trials have been cleared to resume enrollment: a U.S. trial in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with RET translocation, a U.S. trial in patients with medullary thyroid cancer with or without RET mutations, a U.S. trial in endometrial cancer patients with FGFR2 mutations, a French trial in patients with FLT3-positive acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and a UK trial in patients with Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph+) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
  • Eight additional investigator-sponsored trials are pending regulatory and/or institutional review board (IRB) approval; these include investigations in blast-phase chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), Ph+ALL, AML, and NSCLC with RET translocation and/or FGFR1 amplification.
  • We will present multiple clinical updates on Iclusig at the 2014 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in June. This will include updates from the ongoing Iclusig Phase 1 and PACE trials, data from the discontinued EPIC trial in patients with newly diagnosed CML, and the Phase 2 trial in patients with refractory gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST).

Advancing AP26113

  • A pivotal global Phase 2 trial of AP26113 in patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who were previously treated with crizotinib is now open and enrolling patients. The ALTA trial is designed to determine the safety and efficacy of AP26113 in refractory NSCLC patients who test positive for the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK+) oncogene. The trial will enroll approximately 220 patients including those with brain metastasis.
  • We will present an update from the ongoing Phase 1/2 clinical trial of AP26113 at the 2014 ASCO annual meeting.

Upcoming Medical Meetings

  • American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2014 Annual Meeting, Chicago, May 30 to June 3, 2014
  • European Hematology Association (EHA) 19th Congress, Milan, Italy, June 12 to 15, 2014

Upcoming Investor Meetings

ARIAD management will be making corporate presentations at the following investor conferences:

  • UBS Global Healthcare Conference, New York, May 20, 2014
  • Jefferies Global Healthcare Conference, New York, June 4, 2014
  • William Blair Growth Stock Conference, Chicago, June 10, 2014
  • Goldman Sachs Annual Healthcare Conference, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, June 11, 2014

Today's Conference Call at 8:30 a.m. ET

We will hold a live webcast and conference call of our first quarter financial results this morning at 8:30 a.m. ET. The live webcast can be accessed by visiting the investor relations section of the Company's website at The call can be accessed by dialing 888-771-4371 (domestic) or 847-585-4405 (international) five minutes prior to the start time and providing the pass code 37004683. A replay of the call will be available on the ARIAD website approximately two hours after completion of the call and will be archived for three weeks.

Source: ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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