Human Genome Sciences
The company released fourth-quarter results yesterday, but it's this year that should give investors something to look forward to. The company is guiding for revenue of $250 million this year compared to less than $50 million last year, most of which was from collaborations with Novartis
The reason for the bump is that it's finally going to be able to sell ABthrax, its emergency treatment for anthrax, to the government. The company expects to sell at least $150 million worth of the drug this year.
More importantly for the long-term growth of the company, investors get to look forward to the phase 3 results for its hepatitis C treatment, Albuferon, in March. The drug already passed its first phase 3 trial, but that was in a population with the easier-to-treat genotypes 2 and 3 infections. The fate of Albuferon and whether it'll be able to compete against current treatments from Schering-Plough
I think there's still a lot of risk of Albuferon failing, and the fact that a higher dose had to be discontinued doesn't give me a warm feeling about the drug. CAPS players aren't so sure either, giving Human Genome Sciences a middle-of-the-road three-star rating.
But the company isn't a one-hit wonder. It does have a backup plan in lupus treatment LymphoStat-B, which has phase 3 trial results expected in July and November.
There's a lot of potential for Human Genome Sciences to soar in 2009 -- just look at the charts of Onyx Pharmaceuticals