Why Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Shares Popped

Sucampo's 8-K filing with the SEC delivers a nice surprise to shareholders.

Jan 13, 2014 at 3:45PM

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Sucampo Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SCMP), a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing drugs based on prostones and other novel drug technologies, gained as much as 17% after filing an 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission highlighting slides to its upcoming presentation at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference.

So what: As you might have imagined, the majority of Sucampo's presentation revolves around Amitiza, its FDA-approved therapy for chronic idiopathic constipation, opioid-induced constipation (OIC) in adults with chronic non-cancer pain, and irritable bowel syndrome with constipation in women, which is licensed to Takeda Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQOTH:TKPYY). Specifically exciting investors today has to be the 4% increase in prescriptions through November's year-to-date figures, and the highest weekly prescription orders ever recorded in the second week of December. Sucampo also began a co-promotion effort to primary pain specialists on Jan. 2, 2014, in an effort to boost OIC sales. Finally, Sucampo notes that its trial of a liquid formulation of its drug for CIC should be completed in the first-half of 2014 upon which it plans to file a new drug application.

Now what: Plainly put, we're seeing how partnering with a larger, global pharmaceutical company can be beneficial to both parties. Sucampo is really starting to see the benefits of the numerous indications for Amitiza, and could gain approval for the drug in Switzerland and the U.K. within the first half of this year. With sales growth expected to remain in the double digits and EPS beginning to soar, I believe Sucampo could still have room to run higher if these approvals go as planned.

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