Sat, Sep 20, 2014 - Page 13 News List

ScinoPharm shares soar on back of its new drug approval

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

Shares of ScinoPharm Taiwan (台灣神隆) soared to the daily limit yesterday after the company said it received approval last month to make ingredients for Decitabine, a drug to treat myelodysplastic syndromes, a class of conditions in which certain blood cells are dysfunctional.

The maker of active pharmaceutical ingredients said the ingredient for Decitabine is the sixth out of eight ingredients it plans to launch this year.

Shares grew 6.9 percent to NT$62 yesterday, outperforming the TAIEX, which was up 0.04 percent.

According to ScinoPharm, Decitabine has the highest regional annual sales of US$250 million a year in the US compared with the other five drugs the company started making ingredients for this year. The combined regional sales of the other five drugs are estimated at US$432.5 million a year, the company said.

From January through last month, ScinoPharm Taiwan reported revenue of NT$2.83 billion (US$93.69 million), down 16.89 percent from NT$3.41 billion a year ago, according to the company’s filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

The revenue decline was because of lower sales of Viibryd, which is used to treat depression, and lower sales of Qsymia, which is used for weight loss, compared with the previous year, ScinoPharm said.

Despite the approval to make ingredients for Decitabine, Waterland Securities still forecast that ScinoPharm’s sales would drop 4.2 percent to NT$4.88 billion this year from NT$5.09 billion a year ago.

In the first six months this year, ScinoPharm Taiwan posted a profit of NT$357.9 million, or NT$0.53 per share, down 52.67 percent from NT$756.2 million, or NT$1.12 per share, the previous year.

The company attributed the declining profit to the high price of materials used to make ingredients for the cancer drug Paclitaxel, and a lower gross margin for its portfolio this year due to slowing sales of Viibryd and Qsymia.

Waterland Securities forecast profit for ScinoPharm would be NT$1.16 per share this year, down 38.29 percent from NT$1.88 per share, or NT$1.27 billion, a year ago.

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