Ionis Pharmaceuticals Rises Despite Missing Earnings

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Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: IONS) reported its third-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Wednesday. The company posted $0.06 in earnings per share (EPS) and $110.9 million in revenue. Consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters had called for $0.08 in EPS and $113.09 million in revenue. The same period from last year had a net loss of $0.30 per share and $49.12 million in revenue.

In the first nine months of 2016, Ionis has received $96.9 million from Biogen for licensing and advancing the Phase 3 program for Spinraza and advancing IONIS-BIIB4RX. Another major source of revenue during this time was $62.9 million primarily from the amortization of upfront fees and manufacturing services Ionis performed for its partners.

Also through the first nine months of 2016, Ionis has continued to advance its Phase 3 programs, and Akcea is preparing to commercialize volanesorsen while it has prudently managed expenses.

B. Lynne Parshall, chief operating officer of Ionis, commented on the earnings:

This week, we and Biogen announced positive data from an interim analysis of CHERISH, our Phase 3 study in children with later-onset (consistent with Type 2) spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).  We are very encouraged with the positive SPINRAZATM data from both of our controlled Phase 3 clinical trials supporting potential benefit not only in infants, but also in children with SMA.  We are pleased that our partners at Biogen are already making SPINRAZA available to patients with SMA who have no therapeutic alternatives through a broad Expanded Access Program.  In about four weeks after Biogen filed for marketing approval for SPINRAZA, the FDA and the EMA each have accepted their respective application.  Importantly, the FDA has granted Priority Review and the EMA has granted Accelerated Assessment, both of which can reduce the standard review time.

On the books, Ionis cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments totaled $687.8 million at the end of the quarter, versus $779.2 million at the end of 2015.

Shares of Ionis were trading up more than 23% at $38.88 on Wednesday, with a consensus analyst price target of $41.70 and a 52-week trading range of $19.59 to $62.68.