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Aerie Pharmaceuticals Idea Proposal (AERI)

Aerie Pharmaceuticals Idea Proposal (AERI)
 

Can Aerie’s new glaucoma drugs gain share in a market loaded with generics? Will Aerie’s offerings keep pace with or exceed Bausch’s Vyzulta?

Report Available: July 24, 2019

 

Blueshift’s initial research found that after more than 20 years of not having any new glaucoma treatments to lower interocular pressure (IOP), three new drugs hit the market in 2017, 2018, and 2019. BHC’s Valeant Pharmaceuticals started the trend of new treatment options when it launched Vyzulta in Dec. 2017. AERI followed with the launch of Rhopressa in April 2018 and just launched Rocklatan in May. Gaining traction and winning the hearts and minds of the medical community will be a challenge in a space currently dominated by successful low-cost generic drugs.

 

Observations

  1. AERI reported mixed Q1 results by beating earnings with a narrower loss than expected, but missing revenue expectations. AERI’s Rhopressa missed estimates with $10.9 million in sales vs. Street expectations of $12.7 million. AERI attributed the miss to a higher proportion of Medicare Part D rebates which are steeper than commercial rebates and competitors loading practices with extra samples of their glaucoma drugs. During the quarter, AERI experienced flat shipments of Rhopressa compared to Q4 2018 and the cost per bottle dropped from $130 in Q4 2018 to $100 in Q1 2019 due to the higher Medicare mix.
  2. Recent AERI highlights include FDA approval and the launch of AERI’s Rocklatan a once-daily fixed-dose combination of Rhopressa and Latanoprost (Xalatan). AERI said the drug is considered a game changer by ophthalmologists and the company thinks it has the potential for annual sales of $1 billion. Aiding the Rhopressa sales effort is the increased confidence patients and physicians have in the efficacy of the drug. Two-thirds of the 14,000 physicians targeted by the sales team have written Rhopressa prescriptions since its launch and 80% of the biggest glaucoma drug prescription writers are treating at least one patient with Rhopressa. These promising results have led AERI to reiterate its guidance. The company expects full-year 2019 net revenue in the range of $110 million to $120 million.
  3. BHC is reporting continued growth and adoption of its glaucoma drug Vyzulta which launched in Dec. 2017. In Q1, BHC’s Global Ophtho Rx division’s revenue grew 16% with one-third of the growth attributed to Vyzulta’s increased volumes. Vyzulta weekly prescriptions grew by approximately 20% quarter to quarter.
  4. The challenge to both AERI’s and BHC’s new glaucoma drug adoption is their cost. The glaucoma market is full of low-cost generics. A month of BHC’s Vyzulta is about $376 from GoodRX vs. $12.90 for generic Latanoprost and $7.42 for generic Timolol. Xalatan, the brand-name of Latanoprost, is one of the best-selling glaucoma treatments and it went off patent in 2012. The average price of Latanoprost ophthalmic solution is $32 for a 2.5 mL bottle and it can be found for less than $10 per bottle online.

 

How is the ophtho community reacting to the new glaucoma treatments from AERI and BHC? When viewed head-to-head, is one favored over another? How are these new drugs performing compared to existing generic treatments? Is the cost of the new drugs a deterrent to their adoption? Are ophthalmologists increasing, decreasing, or refraining from prescribing these new drugs? Which drug do these physicians favor? What are their expectations on how each drug will perform? Is Rocklatan a potential blockbuster drug? To answer these and other questions, Blueshift will gather data and issue a market research report from independent sources in the following areas: Ophthalmologists and Medical Professionals, Sales and Distribution Channel, Third-party Payers, and Industry specialists.  

 

Companies: Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc. (AERI), Allergan plc (AGN), Bausch Health Companies Inc. (BHC), Pfizer Inc. (PFE), Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Limited (SUNPHARMA.NS)

 

Research Begins: July 8, 2019

 

 

To see other ideas Blueshift Research is currently working on, please click here.

 

Blueshift Research’s sister company, Intro-act, is launching its Intro-act Scorecard, the C-suite’s standard, ongoing measure of corporate investor engagement.

 

The Scorecard optimizes the ROI on corporate access by measuring: Concentration, Directionality, Breadth, Impact, Depth, and Duration