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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

BioCryst stock rises 25% after layoffs, projected earnings

A Durham-based pharmaceutical company laid off 10% of its workforce, but its stock price jumped by more than 25% after it reported $89.9 million of fourth-quarter net revenue and projected its first earnings in the next two years.

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals fourth-quarter net revenue grew by 27% in 2023, according to an unaudited earnings report, but the company laid off 59 employees to keep operating expenses unchanged, a key part of its strategy toward profitability.

BioCryst said it expects to make its first full-year operating profit in 2024, driven by sales of ORLADEYO, a drug used to prevent hereditary angioedema attacks in adults and pediatric children older than 12, and maintaining operating expenses.

ORLADEYO alone is anticipated to generate between $380 million and $400 million in annual net revenue this year.

“This commercial success, alongside our proven discovery platform that is producing additional first-in-class or best-in-class molecules, uniquely positions BioCryst to achieve financial independence from the capital markets and accelerate our path to profitability,” says CEO Jon Stonehouse in the release.

Selling, general and administrative expenses are expected to increase by $20 million in 2024 to help propel growth of ORLADEYO to an estimated $1 billion in peak sales.

But research and development costs are expected to drop in 2024 compared to 2023 by $20 million, which is $45 million to $55 million less than the November 2023 guidance.

This reduction in expenses, coupled with maintaining operating expenses and increased ORLADEYO sales, led BioCryst to suggest its quarterly earnings per share could be profitable in 2025 in addition to making its first full-year operating profit by the year’s end.

BioCryst also noted that it expects to reach its financial goals without raising additional funds.

“Comparing U.S. patient trends year-over-year, we had more new patient prescriptions and a lower average rate of monthly discontinuations in 2023 compared to 2022,” says Charlie Gayer, chief commercial officer of BioCryst, in the release. “U.S. performance combined with continued global expansion keep ORLADEYO on track for $1 billion in peak sales.”

BioCryst’s shares rose $1.56, or 25.6%, to $7.65 on Monday. The shares are trading at $7.64 in Tuesday afternoon trading.

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