April 22, 2019 / 10:12 AM / 6 months ago

BUZZ-Akorn: Gains as generic approvals come as "rare piece of good news"

** Shares of drug developer up 15.5% at $3.2 in premarket trading

** Co on Thurs won approval for first generic to Bausch Health Companies Inc’s Lotemax, a treatment for inflammation after eye surgery

** This arguably represents a meaningful opportunity for AKRX given likely limited competition, Jefferies analysts say

** Approval is also noteworthy given ongoing manufacturing issues cited in two FDA warning letters for the co’s Decatur and Somerset facilities – Jefferies analyst David Steinberg

** Steinberg estimates drug could bring in annual sales of over $30 mln if there are no other near term entrants

** Co says also received approval for an over-the-counter version of nasal spray Fluticare

** The approvals are a “rare piece of good news” for co, and show pipeline could still yield value even under regulatory duress, Raymond James analyst Elliot Wilbur says

** Up to Thursday’s close, AKRX shares have fallen ~86% since Germany’s Fresenius SE pulled out of its planned $4.9 bln acquisition of the company about a year ago (Reporting by Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru)

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