What happened

Shares of BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (BCRX -0.94%) are soaring today in response to unaudited sales figures from the fourth quarter and projections for the entire year. Investors excited about the successful launch of the company's only drug at the moment pushed the stock 22.1% higher as of 12:37 p.m. ET on Monday.

So what 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved BioCryst's first drug, Orladeyo, a little over a year ago. The first few quarters post-launch for the drug, which prevents attacks of hereditary angioedema, were less than inspiring. But preliminary fourth-quarter figures released today suggest the drug really can achieve more than $1 billion in annual sales.

Scientist at work in a laboratory.

Image source: Getty Images.

Unaudited, fourth-quarter revenue for Orladeyo came in at $45.6 million during the last three months of 2021. That was 23% more than the previous quarter, and BioCryst expects further growth. 

Now what

An impressive patient retention rate of 70% through the first year of Orladeyo's commercial launch gave BioCryst a lot of confidence. Management predicts no less than $250 million in net Orladeyo revenue in 2022. That's more than double the amount the company expects to report for 2021.

BioCryst is also enrolling patients into clinical trials with BCX9930, an experimental treatment for paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria. Investigators are measuring for a change in hemoglobin after a short 12 weeks of treatment, so we should know if the trial was a success before the end of 2022.