Tue, Apr 08, 2014 - Page 14 News List

TWi Pharmaceuticals shares surge after US approval

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

Shares of generic drugmaker TWi Pharmaceuticals Inc (安成藥) soared 6.86 percent yesterday after the company was granted approval to sell its drug to treat hypertension and angina in the US.

The company’s shares rose to NT$272.5 yesterday, outperforming the over-the-counter benchmark index, which was down 0.33 percent.

Sales of drugs for the ailments are US$180 million a year in the US, and the company would be the fifth company to enter the market, the company said.

FIRST IN PIPELINE

The drug — nifedipine extended-release tablets — was the first drug in the company’s pipeline to be approved in the US, TWi general manager Yeh Li-ru (葉麗如) said by telephone yesterday.

China Chemical & Pharmaceutical Co (CPCC, 中化製藥), which sells drugs and medical equipment, is responsible for making the drug on a contract basis for TWi Pharmaceutical, and the drug will be sold by US drugmaker Par Pharmaceutical Companies Inc in the US, Yeh said.

TWi Pharmaceuticals already started shipping the drug to Par Pharmaceutical at the end of January, increasing its sales by 2.5 times in the first two months of this year to NT$79.48 million (US$2.63 million), from NT$22.66 million a year ago, Yeh said.

Yuanta Securities Group (元大證券) forecast that by launching the drug, TWi Pharmaceuticals can seize between 12 percent and 15 percent of the hypertension and angina market.

The drug will help the company grow its sales by between US$20 million and US$26 million a year, according to a Yuanta report issued yesterday.

The drug can increase TWi Pharmaceutical’s earnings by NT$250 million to NT$350 million a year, Yuanta Securities analyst Peggy Lee (李珮菁) said in the report.

APPETITE LOSS DRUG

TWi Pharmaceuticals is also expected to launch Megace ES, which is used to treat loss of appetite and weight loss in AIDS patients, this quarter, increasing the company’s earnings by between NT$150 million and NT$280 million a year, Lee said.

The analyst forecast that TWi Pharmaceuticals would report sales of NT$560 million this year, up 76.1 percent from NT$318 million a year ago.

Lee also expects the company to swing to the black this year with profit of NT$0.9 per share, up from losses of NT$17.6 per share a year earlier.

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