* Says all 3 doses show statistical significance
* Says drug was generally safe and well-tolerated
* Q1 loss/shr $0.06 vs estimate loss/shr $0.16
* Revenue $26.1 mln vs est $19.6 mln
* Shares rise as much as 18 percent
(Adds details, analyst comments; updates stock movement)
By Krishnakali Sengupta
BANGALORE, April 28 BioCryst Pharmaceuticals
Inc (BCRX.O) posted a significantly narrower-than-expected
quarterly loss and said its experimental gout drug showed
positive results in an early mid-stage trial, sending its
shares up 18 percent.
Investors are relieved that the company did not post any
negative data, considering it is one of the few biotechnology
companies that has a substantial revenue, said analyst Stephen
Brozak of WBB Securities.
BioCryst said the drug, codenamed BCX4208, showed a
statistically significant reduction in uric acid levels
compared to a dummy drug in all its three dosages.
The main goal of the 21-day study was to record the change
in serum uric acid concentration after 21 days of treatment in
patients with gout.
The drug was generally safe and well-tolerated and
incidence of gout flares was low, BioCryst said.
Roughly 5 million Americans have gout, in which uric acid
build-up can cause swollen joints.
Part two of the phase-2 study is currently underway,
sequentially evaluating the safety and efficacy of up to three
higher doses of the drug, and results are expected in the
fourth quarter, the company said in a statement.
Analyst Brozak said given that a number of blockbuster
drugs are soon going to lose their patent exclusivity, it is
likely that many big pharmaceutical companies will consider
partnering BioCryst's gout drug as a lucrative opportunity.
BioCryst is well positioned to strike a good deal.
"They must not only be making outgoing calls but also
receiving a lot of incoming calls from interested parties. But
what remains to be seen is whether it will be now or after the
late-stage data," Brozak told Reuters.
Q1 TOPS ESTIMATES
Separately, BioCryst reported upbeat quarterly results,
helped by milestone and royalty payments.
Net loss for the first quarter was $2.6 million, or 6 cents
a share, compared with a loss of $9.3 million, or 24 cents a
share, a year ago.
Revenue grew 83 percent to $26.1 million, helped by
milestone and royalty payments from its Japanese partner
Shionogi & Co Ltd (4507.T) for BioCryst's anti-viral drug
Analysts on average expected the company to post a loss of
16 cents per share, on revenue of $19.6 million, according to
Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Shares of the company were up 14 percent at $8. They had
earlier touched a high of $8.30 Wednesday Nasdaq.
(Reporting by Krishnakali Sengupta; Editing by Anne
Pallivathuckal and Gopakumar Warrier)