What happened

Shares of BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (BCRX 1.28%) are sinking today, down by 17.1% as of 11:09 a.m. ET. The big decline came after the drugmaker announced its fourth-quarter and full-year 2022 results before the market opened.

BioCryst reported Q4 revenue of $79.5 million, up from $47.2 million in the prior-year period. This result topped the consensus revenue estimate of $75.6 million.

The company posted a net loss in the fourth quarter of $71.5 million, or $0.38 per share, based on generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). It posted a net loss of $17.8 million, or $0.10 per share, in Q4 2021. BioCryst recorded a non-GAAP loss of $73.6 million, or $0.40 per share. 

Analysts' consensus estimate was for a fourth-quarter 2022 net loss of $0.17 per share.

BioCryst also provided full-year 2023 guidance of net revenue for hereditary angioedema drug Orladeyo of at least $320 million. The company has another product, influenza antiviral therapy Rapivab, that generated net revenue of $8.7 million in the fourth quarter. However, it didn't give guidance for sales of Rapivab.

So what

There were three primary reasons behind BioCryst's Q4 earnings miss. The company's research and development expenses jumped, mainly due to increased investment in its complement inhibitor program. Selling, general, and administrative expenses rose significantly in large part because of the U.S. commercial launch of Orladeyo. Also, BioCryst's interest expense grew as a result of servicing its royalty and debt financing agreements.

Investors shouldn't focus too much on one disappointing quarter, though. BioCryst's future fortunes depend on the continued launch of Orladeyo and the company's pipeline progress.

Now what

Don't look for especially impressive first-quarter 2023 results from BioCryst. The company expects that sales for Orladeyo could even decline from Q4 2022 because of seasonal managed care reauthorizations. Over the longer term, though, BioCryst believes that Orladeyo could generate peak annual sales of $1 billion.