Sales of Amryt Pharma’s lead commercial drug increased 14.6 per cent in the first half of 2018 as the group significantly expanded the locations in which the drug is available.
Revenues for Lojuxta - which treats adult patients with a rare cholesterol disorder - amounted to €6.6 million in the first six months of the year compared to the same period in 2017.
Chief executive Joe Wiley said the group forecasts full year revenues for the drug to be in line with expectations on the back of momentum the company is seeing and orders already received in the UK and Saudi Arabia.
Shore Capital analysts Adam Barker and Tara Raveendran upgraded revenue forecasts for the group on the back of strong Lojuxta momentum.
“We view Amryt as a compelling investment opportunity to gain exposure to a diversified rare disease platform,” the analysts said.
The Lojuxta treatment was approved in July for funding as an NHS England treatment for adults. The decision means that, from this year, patients with the life-threatening genetic condition being treated on the NHS in England can be prescribed the medicine, which can reduce the production and uptake of bad cholesterol.
A decision on the drug’s entry to the French market is expected “in the coming weeks”, which “should result in accelerated growth” for the business.
Additionally, the company anticipates growth in the distributor markets for Lojuxta having signed eight new agreements in the first half of the year.
Amryt holds an exclusive licence to sell Lojuxta across the European Economic Area, Middle East and North Africa, Switzerland, Turkey, Israel, Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States and the non-EU Balkan states.
Dublin-based Amryt also said it’s making “strong progress” with its lead development asset, a drug for the treatment of Epidemolysis Bullosa (EB).
EB is a rare genetic skin disorder that can cause skin to blister and tear from the slightest friction or trauma and can, in some cases, cause blistering and erosion of the lining of internal organs. Some 500,000 people live with the disease which currently has no approved treatments.
Having received patent for Japan, the US and Europe for its EB treatment, the company is in the process of a phase three clinical trial - the largest ever global phase three study in EB. The opportunity for both the European and US markets for EB is estimated to be in excess of €1 billion.
“We have also received interest from physicians and are reviewing the potential of the product in other indications that could see even further growth for this product beyond EB,” Mr Wiley said.
Amryt had cash of €12.2 million at the end of June, €10 million of which was an undrawn balance on the company's European Investment Bank facility.