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BioDelivery-Purdue Pharma Ink Marketing Deal for Pain Drug

BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc.’s BDSI shares have inched up almost 2% after the company has announced an exclusive partnership agreement with Purdue Pharma, a Canadian pharmaceutical company, for commercializing its pain drug Belbuca (buprenorphine buccal film) in Canada.

It is important to note that last month, Belbuca was approved of in Canada to lessen severe pain management as a daily required, round-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment and for which, alternative treatment options are inadequate. At the same time, BioDelivery had mentioned that it was looking or a marketing partner in the country and the approval was an important step in the partnering process. The company expects to launch the product in Canada in early 2018.

BioDelivery’s shares have significantly outperformed the Zacks categorised Medical-Biomed/Genetics industry so far this year. Shares of the company have surged 57.1%, while the industry has registered an increase of 7.8%. 

We remind investors that Belbuca was launched in the U.S. in Feb 2016 by Endo International plc ENDP under a worldwide licensing agreement with BioDelivery. Subsequently, BioDelivery had required the worldwide rights to Belbuca in Jan 2017 from Endo. This followed the strategic decision announced by Endo in Dec 2016 to discontinue commercial efforts for the U.S. branded pain business.

As a result of the requisition, the company started recording product revenues for Belbuca against royalties being recorded previously. Belbuca’s net revenue hit an all-time high of 4.6 million in Mar 2017.

BioDelivery is presently exploring other commercial options for longer-term growth for Belbuca within and outside the U.S. Following a post-acquisition expansion of its sales force by 20 sales representatives to 65, the company is currently focusing much of its current commercial efforts on growing Belbuca’s sales, given the product’s significant commercial opportunity.

The company has strategically consolidated its sales force which has a possibility to result in total savings of approximately $20 million through the end of 2017. The present sales force covers 95% of the Belbuca prescription volume.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

BioDelivery currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Few other stocks worth considering in the healthcare sector are Exelixis, Inc. EXEL and Enzo Biochem, Inc. ENZ, each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Exelixis’s earnings per share estimates inched up from 17 cents to 18 cents for 2017 and from 53 cents to 55 cents, over the last 60 days. The company has delivered positive earnings surprises in all the four trailing quarters with an average beat of 512.11%. Exelixis’s shares have rallied 78.4% so far this year.

Enzo’s loss per share estimates has narrowed from 12 cents to 7 cents for 2017 and from 11 cents to 3 cents for 2018 in the last 30 days. The company has delivered positive earnings surprises in all the last four quarters with an average beat of 55.83%. Shares of Enzo have surged 63.7% so far this year.

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