AVANIR Pharmaceuticals' CEO Discusses F1Q12 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

AVANIR Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ( AVNR)

F1Q12 Earnings Call

February 7, 2012 4:30 PM ET


Ian Clements – IR

Keith Katkin – President and CEO

Christine Ocampo – VP, Finance

Joao Siffert – SVP, Research and Development

Randall Kaye – SVP, Clinical Research and Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer


Charles Duncan – JMP Securities

Ritu Baral – Canaccord

Thomas Wei – Jefferies

Christopher James – MLV & Company

Carol Werther – Summer Street

Gregory Wade – Wedbush



Good afternoon. My name is Nathalie and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the AVANIR Fiscal 2012 First Quarter Conference Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers’ remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session.

(Operator Instructions)

Thank you. Mr. Ian Clements, you may begin your conference.

Ian Clements

Thank you, operator and good afternoon, everybody. I’d like to welcome you to our conference call to discuss our financial and operating results for fiscal 2012 first quarter. Today is the one-year anniversary of the commercial launch of NUEDEXTA. Hence this is an opportune time to discuss the success of our initial launch phase and the strong momentum heading into 2012.

We have recently undertaken several initiatives to help accelerate revenue growth and deliver meaningful returns to our shareholders. To discuss our results and these initiatives, I’m joined by Keith Katkin, President and Chief Executive Officer, who will provide a strategic overview of our performance, Christine Ocampo, Vice President of Finance, who will provide additional details on our financial performance during the quarter and Dr. Joao Siffert, Senior Vice President, Research and Development who will provide an R&D update. For the Q&A portion of today’s call, we will also be joined by Dr. Randall Kaye, Chief Medical Officer.

During the course of this conference, we will be making certain forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties and reflect our current expectations and judgments. Examples of these forward-looking statements include statements relating to our expectations for NUEDEXTA sales and revenue growth, future expense levels, the timing and success of future development of AVP-923 for other indications and the potential approval of NUEDEXTA in new markets.

Actual results could vary materially from the results anticipated by these statements. Investors should read the risk factors set forth in the AVANIR’s Form 10-K for the year ended September 20, 2011 and periodic reports filed with Securities and Exchange Commission.

With that said, I’d now like to turn the call over to Keith Katkin. Keith?

Keith Katkin

Thank you, Ian and my thanks to each of you for joining us today. I’ll start today by highlighting the achievement of a number of important milestones on the commercial, clinical and regulatory fronts.

First, on the commercial side of the business, I’m delighted to report that we continue to significantly grow NUEDEXTA prescriptions. The number of PBA patients being treated and benefiting from NUEDEXTA has steadily grown each month and I’m very pleased with the continued growth in prescriptions that we are observing.

Taking a look at monthly prescription numbers, in October, a total of 4,100 prescriptions were written, of which 2,043 were new prescriptions. In our number, a total of 4,896 prescriptions were written, of which 2,562 were new prescriptions. And for December, a total of 5,630 prescriptions were written, of which 2,894 were new prescriptions.

Thus, for the first fiscal quarter of 2012, we had a total of 14,626 prescriptions, of which 7,499 were new prescriptions. This represents a 43% increase in total prescriptions versus the prior quarter. The average prescription size during the quarter was 51 capsules.

I’m pleased with the option and growth we are seeing for NUEDEXTA. Additionally, new patient and physician market research undertaken during the last quarter reaffirms our long-term belief in the growth opportunity for NUEDEXTA. For example, the physician market research suggests that physicians in our target that are already prescribing NUEDEXTA expect a substantially increase in the number of patients treated with NUEDEXTA over the next 12 months. And those physicians who have not yet prescribed NUEDEXTA for the first time, expect to write their first prescriptions in the near future.

Additionally, in the creation market research, although a small sample size, 75% of patients on NUEDEXTA report being very or extremely satisfied with the achievement of their PBA episodes, compared to only 35% satisfaction with other treatment options. These market research findings bode well for the future of NUEDEXTA.

Next, I’d like to provide an update on some of the important short to mid-term growth initiatives that were discussed on our last quarterly conference call. First, the institutional salesforce. The signs of the impact that our new institutional salesforce is having on sales in that segment continue to be encouraging. Since initiating the pilot in early November, our institutional salesforce has made 3,500 calls on nursing facilities and executed nearly 700 speaker programs. As of December, approximately 50% of all NUEDEXTA prescriptions are now coming from the institutional segment. We expect to be better able to assess the success of the institutional sales team over the current quarter and I look forward to giving you more details on our next conference call.

Second, with respect to patient access, we have made good progress on the payer front over the past quarter and just in the last couple of weeks, another large payer had NUEDEXTA to its formulary in a tier 3 unrestricted physician. This payer covers over 4.5 million Medicare Part D lines and approximately 3.5 million commercial lines. With this addition, nearly 35% of patients have tier 2 access to NUEDEXTA and approximately 65% of patients, representing about 200 million lives in the U. S. have unrestricted access to NUEDEXTA.

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