There's no shortage of reporting around the risks facing Questcor Pharmaceuticals' (UNKNOWN:QCOR.DL). Still, the insurance reimbursement risks and an ongoing government investigation into sales practices have left investors scratching their heads. But those aren't the only issues investors need to be aware of with this stock.
In a brand-new premium report I created along with Brenton Flynn, we outline all of the key issues surrounding Questcor. Follow along below for a short preview of the "Risks" section of this report.
Multiple single points of failure
Questcor currently relies on one source for Acthar's active pharmaceutical ingredient and uses one manufacturer for the final product. These multiple single points of failure present risks for the company should problems develop with any of its business partners.
The company contracts with BioVectra to supply the active pharmaceutical ingredient for Acthar. It contracts with Cangene for the finished product. One threat from these single-source relationships is that one or both of the companies could cancel agreements with Questcor. That risk is mitigated to some extent with long lead-time clauses. However, if a cancellation occurred, Questcor could encounter difficulties securing alternate sources.
The bigger threat is from either BioVectra or Cangene encountering major problems in fulfilling their obligations to Questcor. Any difficulties of this kind would jeopardize Questcor's ability to ship Acthar and could hurt revenue.
Challenges from new products
Questcor faces two major risks on the competitive front. The more serious risk is that another company develops a product that treats multiple sclerosis flares more effectively or even prevents the flares.
The FDA recently approved Sanofi's new MS drug, Aubagio. The drug holds promise for helping patients who experience a relapsing form of the disease. Biogen Idec is also developing another drug that could be effective in reducing the likelihood of MS relapses.
The lesser risk for Questcor is that another company could make its own version of Acthar. The company does not hold any current patents for the drug. The most likely reason why no one has yet made a generic version is that the manufacturing process is very complex. However, a real possibility exists that other competitors could emerge in the future.
Keith Speights and The Motley Fool have no positions in the stocks mentioned above. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.