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Why Keryx is Lagging But Acadia is Zooming (Hint: It's About NCE)

^NBI Chart ^NBI data by YCharts

Unlike Keryx, Acadia's stock (the orange line) kept pace with the Nasdaq Biotech Index. In April, Acadia zoomed and has since outperformed the broader biotech sector. What happened in April? That's when Acadia announced plans to seek FDA approval for pimavanserin based on the phase III data in hand. Before this, it was thought Acadia would need to run another, confirmatory study before seeking FDA approval.

The big difference between Acadia and Keryx is there is no debate about the patents or market exclusivity for pimavanserin. The FDA is widely expected to grant pimavanserin five years of market exclusivity as an NCE, and with that designation and the patents, investors are more confident that Acadia can land a Big Pharma marketing partner or be acquired.

The lesson here: Patents and market exclusivity matter -- a lot. Acadia has both, Keryx and Amarin do not. The results are reflected in the performance of their respective stocks.

-- Reported by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.

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.
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