Shares of Ascendis Pharma (ASND 3.19%) were down by 10.5% as of 12:10 p.m. ET Thursday. The decline came after the drugmaker announced its first-quarter results following the market close on Wednesday.
The Denmark-based multinational reported Q1 revenue of 6.8 million euros, a big jump from revenue of 700,000 euros in the prior-year period. However, the company posted a net loss of 125.5 million euros, or 2.21 euros per share. This result was worse than the consensus estimate.
Biotech stocks usually fall on earnings misses. It didn't help matters that Ascendis is having to shift some of its clinical trials from Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus. However, there were some positive takeaways from the company's Q1 update that could be easily overlooked.
Importantly, payer coverage of growth hormone Skytrofa (TransCon) jumped to 45% of U.S. lives by the end of April from around 36% at the end of February. Ascendis also won marketing authorization in the European Union for the drug to be used as a treatment for children and adolescents ages 3 to 18.
Ascendis could have multiple positive catalysts coming in the not-too-distant future. The company remains on track to file for U.S. approval of TransCon as a treatment for adults with hyperparathyroidism in the third quarter. An EU submission is expected in the fourth quarter.
Several key clinical updates are also on the way. Ascendis anticipates reporting results in the fourth quarter from a phase 2 study of TransCon in treating children ages 2 to 10 with achondroplasia. Results from two phase 1/2 studies of TransCon targeting solid tumors are expected in Q3 and Q4.