Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:IONS) Rallies On Improved Guidance

Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:IONS) has bounced back after feeling the wrath of the Street on second quarter net loss and termination of a licensing agreement for Inotersen and IONIS-FB-LRx had. Improved 2017 Guidance and strong financial performance continue to fuel bullish bets on the stock.

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Licensing Deal Termination

Shares of Ionis Pharmaceuticals tanked by more than 4% after GlaxoSmithKline plc. (ADR)(NYSE:GSK) declined its option to Inotersen, a drug designed to treat patients with TTR amyloidosis. A decision to also end interest on IONIS-FB-LRX designed to treat diseases that affect immune response had initially raised concerns about the California biotech.

However, Ionis Pharmaceuticals CEO, Stanley Crooke, sounding confident even with the termination of the licensing deal appears to have averted initial concerns. According to the executive, the pharmaceutical giant did not terminate its licensing agreement because it does not believe in the two drugs, but because it is undergoing restructuring.

“We are pleased to move forward these two important drugs ourselves. We are prepared to independently advance Inotersen and remain on track to file for marketing approval of Inotersen in the U.S. and EU this year,” said B. Lynne Parshall, chief operating officer of Ionis Pharmaceuticals

Crooke remains confident about Inotersen’s prospects given that there is additional room for more than one drug for the treatment of TTR amyloidosis.  Standing in the way of the company’s push for sales in the space is Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALNY) Patisiran.


Ionis reported an operating loss of $1.7 million and operating income of $123.3 million for the three months and six months ended June 30, 2016. The company ended the quarter with $855 million in cash. Buoyed by the strong performance, the company has since revised upwards its original pro forma operating income and cash guidance for 2017.

For the full year, the company is projecting pro forma operating income of $55 million with cash of more than $950 million. Initially, Ionis was projecting cash of $825 million. In addition to growth in cash balance, the company expects approvals for Volanesorsen and inotersen as well as plenty early stage pipeline data for nine drugs.

Ionis Pharmaceuticals was up by 2.63% in Friday’s trading session to end the week at $46.76 a share.

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