There was a brief pop in share price following the approval in late April of in-licensed antibiotic eye drop AzaSite, but Inspire Pharmaceuticals
Inspire expects to launch AzaSite in the United States during the third quarter and anticipates sales of $30 million to $45 million for 2008. The company also met with the Food and Drug Administration this year to discuss its dry-eye drug candidate, Prolacria. Inspire is conducting research to validate a key clinical endpoint so it can design and conduct another phase 3 trial for Prolacria and request a special protocol assessment from the FDA.
The company has already conducted four phase 3 clinical trials for Prolacria and has received two approvable letters from the FDA -- about additional data that is needed -- as it tries to enter the growing and lucrative market for the prescription-drug treatment of dry eye. Allergan
Last week, Inspire also announced positive results at higher doses in a phase 2 dose-ranging clinical trial comparing epinastine nasal spray and a placebo in patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis. The company has scheduled a meeting with the FDA in the third quarter to discuss its next steps in this program.
With shares of Inspire down about 10%, I still believe the company should acquire its drug development partner InSite Vision. If Inspire can make progress with Prolacria and outperform what appear to be overly conservative sales estimates for AzaSite, it would awaken interest in the shares.
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Fool contributor Mike Havrilla, R.Ph., B.S., Pharm.D., is a Rite Aid pharmacist who lives, writes, works, and enjoys running on the streets and trails in the small Pennsylvania town of Portage. He invites your comments and feedback. Mike owns shares of InSite Vision, but does not have a position in any other company mentioned in this article. The Fool has a disclosure policy.