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Puma Biotechnology’s 3Q earnings beat Street, but stock plummets as sale of cancer drug Nerlynx slows

CEO Alan H Auerbach emphasized the company expects the new breast cancer medicine to be available for patients in Europe in 2019

A doctor with a patient
The Los Angeles biotech launched its breast cancer drug Nerlynx commercially in the US market in September 2017

Shares in Los Angeles cancer drug maker Puma Biotechnology Inc (NASDAQ:PBYI) lost half their value Friday after it topped third-quarter earnings but showed growth was already plateauing for its much-hyped breast cancer drug, which has been on the market for a little over a year.

Puma Biotechnology stock fell 50% to $19.40 in morning trading.

For the quarter ended September 2018, Puma Biotechnology posted a loss of $0.37 per share on revenue of $62.6 million. It easily topped Wall Street consensus estimates of a loss of $1.07 per share on revenue of $55 million. Revenue grew 926.2% on a year-over-year basis.

But here lies the rub: Puma's breast cancer drug Nerlynx raked in $52.6 million for the three-month period, but the drug's commercial momentum appears to be plateauing with Nerlynx's sales only rising 3.5% in the quarter. This is disappointing given that most breast cancer drugs enjoy strong sales for several years. The company launched the drug commercially in the US market in September 2017.

READ: Pacific Biosciences rockets after DNA sequencing giant Illumina buys it for $1.2 billion

The company, however, said it would continue to drive toward expanding the availability of Nerlynx throughout the world.

“The third quarter marked the achievement of another important milestone for Puma with the European Commission granting marketing authorization for Nerlynx for the extended adjuvant treatment of hormone receptor positive HER2-positive early stage breast cancer,” said Puma Biotechnology CEO Alan H Auerbach.

“We expect this new medicine to be commercially available to patients in Europe in 2019, beginning with the expected launch in Germany during the first half of 2019 and followed by additional countries throughout Europe in the second half of 2019,” added Auerbach.

Meanwhile, in the third quarter, the company’s new drug submission was accepted in Canada, and its licensing partner in ChinaCANbridge Pharmaceutical Inc, received confirmation that the country’s National Medical Products Administration accepted its new drug application for Nerlynx.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter@UttaraProactive 

 

Quick facts: Puma Biotechnology Inc

Price: 8.09 USD

NASDAQ:PBYI
Market: NASDAQ
Market Cap: $315.19 m
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