This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

A Mea Culpa: Spectrum's Fusilev Sales Are Growing Faster Than I Expected

HENDERSON, Nev. ( TheStreet) -- Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (SPPI - Get Report) reported $41 million in sales of its colon cancer drug Fusilev in the September quarter, a 21% sequential jump boosted by supply shortages of a generic competitor that don't appear to be abating.

It's time to admit my error. In April I penned a bearish column on Spectrum arguing that Fusilev sales would fall off this year once supplies of the cheaper generic form of the drug known as leucovorin were re-introduced to the market. I assumed that the three generic drug makers of leucovorin, including Teva, would get their act together. Once leucovorin supplies normalized, doctors would abandon the higher cost Fusilev.

Well, it's almost November and leucovorin is still in short supply with little evidence to suggest a dramatic improvement in the shortage situation any time soon. In fact, as the weeks pass, the likelihood of a permanent leucovorin shortage grows. Doctors, meantime, need drug to treat their colon cancer patients so they are embracing Fusilev, which is now on a $160 million annual run rate and growing.

Fusilev is likely established well enough today to assume that a good portion of doctors may not switch back to leucovorin even if the shortage ended. As long as insurers continue to reimburse for the drug, some doctors will prefer the reliability of Fusilev supply over risking the chance that leucovorin supplies may run dry again.

This doesn't mean Fusilev sales wouldn't retrench at all if leucovorin bounces back, but the days of Fusilev generating a paltry $6 million per quarter aren't returning either.

That's the story Spectrum CEO Raj Shrotriya pitched to investors earlier this year, which I didn't believe. Today, he looks to be right. I was wrong.

--Written by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Adam Feuerstein.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to

>To submit a news tip, send an email to:

Follow TheStreet on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.
Adam Feuerstein writes regularly for TheStreet. In keeping with company editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in TheStreet. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Feuerstein appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
SPPI $7.09 -0.98%
AAPL $93.74 -1.15%
FB $117.58 0.73%
GOOG $693.01 0.29%
TSLA $240.76 -2.81%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,773.64 -57.12 -0.32%
S&P 500 2,065.30 -10.51 -0.51%
NASDAQ 4,775.3580 -29.9330 -0.62%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs