Is Neurocrine primed for takeover? Revenue soars on Ingrezza sales

Kevin Gorman, CEO of Neurocrine Biosciences, presents at a Jefferies investor conference in 2013. Bloomberg/via Getty Images

Booming sales of newly approved drug Ingrezza is driving Neurocrine Biosciences’ $NBIX stock steadily north. The unexpected early success of the drug might bump Neurocrine’s status as a worthy takeover target.

The San Diego company’s share price closed at $72.78, up 20% compared to market close Wednesday. All the fuss is over Ingrezza’s impressive sales for Q3. Each quarter the company has outpaced analysts’ expectations, and Q3 was no exception.

Paul Matteis

Leerink analyst Paul Matteis predicted Ingrezza would reach sales of $13.1 million in Q3. Instead, the drug contributed $45.8 million of Neurocrine’s quarterly revenue of $60.8 million. Leerink has now upped its Q4 revenue estimate from $13.9 million to $46 million.

Ingrezza was approved by the FDA back in April to treat patients with tardive dyskinesia (TD). The condition is a nervous system disorder that causes uncontrollable stiff, jerky movements in the face and body (often caused by long-term use of psychiatric drugs). Before Ingrezza, there were no treatments for TD patients.

Once approved, Neurocrine slapped a $5,275 price tag on a 30-count bottle of once-daily capsules, making the yearly cost of the drug $63,300 for patients.

The company’s CEO Kevin Gorman told me earlier this year that Neurocrine decided Ingrezza should be competitively priced with Teva’s drug Austedo, a drug originally approved for Huntington’s disease that just received its own TD approval in August. 

There’s been speculation in the market that Neurocrine is primed for a Big Pharma takeover. But Gorman told me earlier this year that he has no problem going forward alone.

“I’ve been in this business for 30 years now, and my definition of success has never changed: Get into a position where you are a freestanding, independent biotech company that discovers, develops, and commercializes your own drugs,” Gorman said. “That way, you don’t have to depend on anyone else.”

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Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
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Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

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