What happened

In response to the company posting good-looking fiscal 2019 first-quarter results, shares of Array BioPharma (NASDAQ:ARRY), a commercial-stage biopharma focused on cancer,  rose as much as 10% in afternoon trading on Wednesday. Shares were up about 9% as of 3 p.m. EDT. 

So what

Here are the key takeaways from the quarter:

  • Net sales of Braftovi and Mekovi -- which were formerly known as encorafenib and binimetinib, respectively -- were $14 million during the quarter. That's not too shabby when considering these drugs became available for sale in early July.
  • Total revenue was $56.9 million for the quarter. A big chunk of the revenue was derived from collaboration and licensing revenue from Array partners Pierre Fabre and Loxo Oncology. This result was much higher than Wall Street was projecting.
  • Net loss was $24.8 million, or $0.12 per share. That was much lower than the expected net loss of $0.24 per share.
  • Cash balance at quarter-end was $415 million. 
  • Net loss was $9.2 million, or $0.11 per share. That was worse than the $0.09 loss that analysts had predicted.
  • The European Commission recently approved Braftovi and Mekovi for the treatment of advanced BRAF-mutant melanoma.
Doctor giving the thumbs up

Image source: Getty Images.

Given the good start for both Braftovi and Mekovi and the better-than-expected headline numbers, it isn't hard to figure out why shareholders are having a good day.

Now what

2018 is shaping up to be a good year for Array's investors. Between the FDA approvals and decent commercial start for Braftovi and Mekovi, bulls have reason to believe that the company's future remains bright. That's doubly true now that the EU has given the drugs the thumbs up.

The next big catalyst that investors can look forward to is the release of phase 3 data from the company's ongoing BEACON CRC trial that is testing Braftovi in combination with Mektovi and cetuximab as a hopeful treatment for mutant metastatic colorectal cancer. The data from the study is expected to be shared with investors in the first half of 2019.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.