July 25, 2018 / 8:37 AM / 3 months ago

RPT-UPDATE 2-Indivior shares plummet on warning of bigger hit from copycat drug

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* Shares down 20 pct

* Hit from Dr.Reddy’s copycat “could be materially higher”

* New drug Sublocade’s initial H1 sales below Jefferies estimate

* Unable to issue new guidance due to uncertainties

By Justin George Varghese

July 25 (Reuters) - Indivior shares fell more than 20 percent on Wednesday after the British drugmaker warned of a bigger-than-expected blow from the launch of a copycat of its best-selling opioid addiction treatment.

The company, which also reported a second straight drop in quarterly profit, has had a turbulent few months with its shares down by a third since India’s Dr.Reddy’s Laboratories said it would launch a generic version of Indivior’s blockbuster opioid addiction treatment Suboxone Film.

Indivior said it was unable to issue new guidance due to uncertainties around the drug after scrapping its full-year forecast earlier this month due to a significant market share loss in the United States.

The impact from the launch of the copycat “could be materially higher” than the $25 million hit on revenue it forecast earlier this month, the company said.

Suboxone Film, a dissolvable oral strip form of Indivior’s older tablet, Suboxone, is used to treat patients addicted to heroin and other painkillers and contributed about 80 percent of its annual revenue a year ago.

Indivior has been involved in a number of legal battles with generic drugmakers to stop copycats from flooding the market. It won an injunction on July 13 to block Dr.Reddy’s from selling cheaper versions of Suboxone Film, but not before the drug’s market share dropped rapidly.

The market share of the film has dropped further to 49 percent from the 52 percent before it got the injunction, the company said on Wednesday.

Invidior’s shares were down 23 percent at 255 pence at 0726 GMT.

NEW DRUG HOPES

Indivior has pinned its hopes on its new opioid addiction drug, Sublocade, a once-monthly injection launched in February, but the company’s plans have been hit with early stage snags.

Sublocade revenues in the first half were $2 million, below brokerage Jefferies’ expectations. The company said that full-year revenue from the drug is expected to be in the range of $25 to $50 million.

Chief Executive Shaun Thaxter said on Wednesday the company was making progress in overcoming Sublocade’s initial challenges and continues to expect to deliver peak net revenue of more than $1 billion.

Adjusted net income fell 21.3 percent to $70 million in the quarter ended June 30 from a year earlier, while revenue fell 6.9 percent to $268 million in the quarter. (Reporting by Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Jane Merriman)

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