by Mike Cintolo, editor Cabot Top Ten TraderQuestcor Pharmaceutical
focuses on treating dif?cult disorders, such as central nervous system
problems, primarily multiple sclerosis, infantile spasms and nephrotic
syndrome, when protein bleeds out of the kidneys.
Its ?agship product is a drug called Acthar, which treats the side effects of multiple sclerosis.
Acthar is a drug of choice when the typical steroid treatment is ineffective or causes serious side effects.
It's not cheap —one prescription costs $40,000 to $50,000 for the two
week treatment period—partly because it's not a mass market drug.
354 new prescriptions were written last quarter, the most ever for
Questcor and up from 69 in the same quarter two years ago. The company
sees greater potential for Acthar given the annual relapses of MS
patients, meaning sales could reach $2 billion.
To date, only
about 400 of 8,000 neurologists who could write a prescription for the
drug have, and a growing salesforce are out knocking on the
In October, the FDA approved Acthar
for infantile spasms for which it appears to be much more effective
than the existing treatment, prednisone.
nephrotic syndrome with Acthar is still early, but there are few
alternatives and the drug is FDA approved for that application.
gapped higher on April 5 after management indicated strong
prescriptions of Acthar for MS, at 500 scripts over 115% higher than
the prior quarter.
Shares saw huge volume on the news, the
second trading day over seven million shares this year. (The average
volume is one million shares.)
The leap from 15 to 18 makes shares a little hot right now, but any dips are buying opportunities.