Shares of BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (BCRX 4.68%) were skyrocketing 40.2% higher this week as of the market close on Thursday, according to on data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The big gain came after the company provided an upbeat update on Monday.
BioCryst announced preliminary net revenue for hereditary angioedema (HAE) drug Orladeyo of $45.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2021. This figure brings the full-year 2021 sales for the drug to $122 million. The company also said it expects Orladeyo's sales in 2022 to more than double to at least $250 million. Peak sales of the HAE drug are anticipated to reach $1 billion.
In addition, BioCryst stated that it has begun enrolling patients in two pivotal clinical studies evaluating its experimental oral Factor D inhibitor, BCX990, in treating rare genetic disease paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH).
BioCryst needed something to excite investors after the biotech stock fell more than 30% over the past six months. The company's update was just what the doctor ordered. And the good news was made possible because doctors are ordering Orladeyo.
Physicians continue to prescribe the HAE drug for new patients, with more than half of the patients switching from other therapies. Patients taking Orladeyo also tend to stick with the drug. BioCryst reported that around 70% of patients who started on the therapy remain on it in the first year of treatment.
It also helps that reimbursement isn't an issue. All of the major payers and pharmacy benefits managers now cover Orladeyo.
With Orladeyo on a solid path to further success, investors will now want to closely watch BioCryst's pipeline. The company plans to wrap up both of its pivotal studies of BCX990 over the next two years. If those studies go well, BioCryst could be in position to file for regulatory approvals of the PNH drug in 2024.