Amarin Corporation plc (NASDAQ:AMRN) Q3 2023 Earnings Call Transcript November 1, 2023
Amarin Corporation plc misses on earnings expectations. Reported EPS is $-0.05 EPS, expectations were $-0.02.
Operator: Welcome to Amarin Corporation's conference call to discuss its third quarter 2023 financial results and business updates. I would now like to turn the conference call over to Jordan Zwick, Senior Vice President, Business Development and Investor Relations at Amarin.
Jordan Zwick: Good morning everyone, and thank you for joining us. Please be aware that this conference call will contain forward-looking statements that are intended to be covered under the safe harbor provided under federal securities law. We may not achieve our goals, carry out our plans or intentions, or meet the expectations disclosed in our forward-looking statements. Actual results or events could differ materially, so you should not place undue reliance on these statements. We assume no obligation to update these statements as circumstances change. Our forward-looking statements do not reflect the potential impact of significant transactions we may enter into, such as mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures, or any material agreements that we may enter into, amend, or terminate.
For additional information concerning the risk factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, please see the risk factors section of our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2022, and our quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2023, which has been filed with the SEC and is available through the Investor Relations section of our website at www.amarincorp.com. We encourage everyone to read these documents. An archive of this call will be posted on Amarin's website in the Investor Relations section. Turning to today's agenda, Patrick Holt, Amarin's President and Chief Executive Officer, will lead our discussion, and Tom Reilly, Amarin's Chief Financial Officer, will provide a detailed review of our third quarter 2023 financial results.
Following prepared remarks, we will open the call to your questions. I will now turn the call over to Patrick Holt, President and Chief Executive Officer of Amarin. Pat?
Patrick Holt: Thank you, Jordan. Good morning and thank you everyone for joining us today. During my three months with Amarin, I've been focused on ways to drive shareholder value. What I have learned is clear. First, we have a company and a product in VASCEPA/VAZKEPA with significant global potential backed by tremendous scientific data including a 25% relative risk reduction on top of statin and is therefore a medicine that can have profound impact on cardiovascular patients globally. In addition, the company has a strong balance sheet with $321 million in cash, delivering five quarters of cash flow positive results and no debt. I also know that delivering and showing results is what will drive shareholder value at Amarin.
Whether it's commercial, market access, operational or R&D, what matters moving forward is that we demonstrate results. As we look to our path forward, it's important to acknowledge the meaningful and important results we are delivering. Following the third quarter, we have now reported five consecutive quarters of positive cash flow. This has been achieved through tough [Technical Difficulty] decisions to reduce headcount and operational expense as well as ongoing discussions with supply partners to renegotiate supply agreements. Today, we have $320 million in cash on hand, an increase of 15 million versus Q3 2022 and no debt. Whilst our European business has not delivered what we have expected to date, and we know we need to do more, we are encouraged by the focus and impact of our new leadership and team is demonstrating, and by early progress from initial launches in key countries.
Fundamentally, we are confident in our European opportunity, given our IP position with the potential to have protection up to 2039. We will discuss this in more detail later in the call. November marks three years since the first generic entrance in the US. Despite this challenge, our team has extended the life cycle and market leadership of VASCEPA, maintaining 57% market share. The durability of this business has been extended by sustained investments in managed care and trade capabilities, despite the elimination of the US sales force. In the rest of world, overall, we are at early stages of expansion by partnerships. Whilst we have revenue from partners in Canada and the Middle East, we have tremendous opportunity in key markets such as China as well as Australia and New Zealand.
Notably, China launched the very high triglyceride indication in September and submitted its filing for cardiovascular risk reduction last week. Recently, we discussed the progress to date and path forward with our Board of Directors. In those discussions, it was clear that the best path forward for Amarin today is to remain focused on accelerating operational momentum. In Europe, our teams will continue to be focusing on key launches, including the UK, Netherlands, and Spain, while also continuing to advance pricing and reimbursement efforts in a number of markets, particularly Italy, France, and Germany. In the US, we will continue to support our business through targeted efforts including managed care and trade initiatives to secure exclusive contracts.
And in the rest of the world, we'll continue to support our partners to get our product into the hands of as many patients as possible. We believe this focus on operational momentum will maximize shareholder value and position us for future strategic options. Moving to Europe, our teams continue to work to deliver both pricing and reimbursement as well as commercial progress in a region which is challenging for the entire industry. From a commercial perspective, whilst it remains early in the commercial launch process in key countries, we are beginning to see initial signs that our local country strategies are working. In the United Kingdom, first, it's important to note that this is traditionally a slower uptake market. This is driven by a number of factors but mainly the complex healthcare system in the market.
Whilst the team faces that challenge, they have successfully unlocked all formularies within the first few months post launch in England and Wales. We now have a more focused strategy in place, including driving uptake in key accounts that is delivering now more than 30% quarter-over-quarter pharmacy sales growth. In Scotland, following recent reimbursement approval, the team is progressing access to formularies. In Spain, our commercial team is focused on HCPs who are early adopters of cardiovascular products and we are seeing promising yet early sales across all regions. We now estimate 500 patients are on therapy one month post-launch. And in the Netherlands, our team is executing on a focused strategy based on identified key accounts to drive adoption.
This is backed by extensive local market research. We now estimate more than 100 patients are on therapy one month post launch. On the pricing and reimbursement front, we have now secured pricing reimbursement across nine countries in Europe including Spain, the Netherlands and Scotland in the third quarter. This continued pricing and reimbursement progress strengthens the foundations for VAZKEPA in additional markets where we are seeking pricing and reimbursement decisions. In Italy, Amarin has finalized a new path forward to pursue market access for VAZKEPA by the end of 2024. In France, we are progressing a new access strategy for VAZKEPA with the national authorities. We do not expect this process to conclude in 2024. And in Germany, we are continuing to evaluate potential options to secure pricing reimbursement for German patients.
We will share more on Germany in the coming quarters. In terms of other markets where we have ongoing pricing and reimbursement processes underway, we do not expect to receive additional decisions in 2023. We remain confident in our path forward in Europe, particularly given our intellectual property in the region. We have regulatory data protection in Europe until 2031, and we also have patents and applications that have the potential to extend our IP well into the decade, indeed potentially up to 2039. Turning to our US business, November marks three years since the launch of the first generic IP into the market. As we all know, most generic markets quickly erode the brand in the United States. As we sit here today, branded VASCEPA continues to hold market leadership with 57% market share and 43% of all Part D lives covered in the US.
This market leadership and the work done by our US team to extend the life cycle of the product has continued to deliver the revenues needed to sustain our business and bolster our financial position. In the third quarter, we had net product revenue of $62.4 million, which is stable versus the second quarter of 2023. We have achieved this by being very efficient with our US operations, sustaining our investments in managed care and trade efforts to support our exclusive contracts, which continue to represent approximately 75% of the US business. Our focus in the US is on continuing to maintain and extend the life cycle of the VASCEPA branded business. With that said, aligned to our strong supply position and as we have stated previously, we stand ready to execute different aggressive scenarios including the potential future launch of an authorized generic in order to retain market leadership of the IP market.
These scenarios are centered around preserving our profitability and of course our cash. Turning to the rest of world, our approach is focused and clear, that is to expand via partnerships to bring the unique value of our products to maximize the number of patients globally on therapy. We have continued to make progress in our strategy by supporting the efforts of existing partners to deliver market access and by securing agreements with new partners. Beyond partnered markets, we are in the second year of a three-year plan to submit and obtain regulatory approval in 20 or more additional countries and regions to ensure that patients in the top 50 cardiometabolic markets worldwide can benefit from our product. From a commercial perspective, our partners are continuing to make significant yet early progress as well.
In China, the second largest cardiovascular market globally, Amarin's partner, EddingPharm, launched VASCEPA in October for the very high triglyceride indication. Edding has also submitted its regulatory filing for a potential indication for cardiovascular risk reduction. It's important to note that this filing has been submitted with a clinical waiver, meaning that an additional regulatory study will not be required to review the new indication. The company is now awaiting the agency's acceptance of that filings. From a partnering perspective in the third quarter, we signed an exclusive agreement with Lotus Pharmaceuticals to commercialize VAZKEPA across 10 countries in Southeast Asia and South Korea. We also signed an exclusive commercialization agreement with Neopharm for VAZKEPA in Israel.
In each of these markets, as well as Australia and New Zealand with our partner CSL Seqirus, regulatory, market access and pre-launch activities are well underway. In summary, we are making progress in our efforts to get our product in the hands of as many patients as possible around the world. Our team is doing this with a core focus on operational momentum and with a tremendous sense of urgency to accelerate that progress. We believe this is what will create shareholder value. We are listening to and we appreciate the input from our important retail and institutional shareholders. Now, I'd like to hand the call over to Tom Reilly to review our third quarter 2023 financial performance. Tom?
Tom Reilly: Thank you, Pat. Good morning, everyone. I am pleased to report details on our financial performance for the third quarter of 2023. Let me begin by discussing our revenue performance. In the third quarter of 2023, Amarin reported total net revenue of $66.1 million, including net product revenue of $64.9 million versus $65.2 million in the second quarter of 2023, and $1.2 million in licensing and royalty revenue. US product revenue was $62.4 million, which includes a $6.5 million one-time adjustment primarily due to Medicaid rebates. This is a decline of $2.2 million versus the second quarter of 2023, reflecting lower net pricing in the US. We remain pleased with the stable performance in the US despite multiple competing generics on the market.
The US business continues to provide profit supporting our expansion into Europe. The revenue results include European product revenue of $800,000 compared to $600,000 in the second quarter of 2023, reflecting early revenues from European markets including the UK, Spain, and the Netherlands. We recognized 1.2 million in license and royalty revenue in the third quarter of 2023, including from VASCEPA-related commercial sales from our partners in Canada, China, and the Middle East as well as an upfront licensing fee from our partner in South Korea and Asia. Cost of goods sold for the three months ended September 30, 2023, was $36.2 million which includes a $12.7 million of inventory settlement charges. Gross margin on net product revenue was 64% for the three months ended September 30, 2023, when you exclude the impact of supply settlements in the quarter.
Moving on to operating expenses. During the third quarter of 2023, excluding restructuring expenses, operating expenses were $50.5 million versus $64.5 million in the same period of 2022. Selling, general and administrative expenses in the third quarter of 2023 were $45.5 million compared to $58.7 million in the corresponding period of the prior year. The decrease was primarily due to the implementation of our July 2023 announced cost reduction plan as well as other cost savings initiatives throughout the year. Research and development expenses in the third quarter 2023 were $5.1 million from $5.8 million in the corresponding prior year period with the decrease being driven by the implementation of our previously announced cost reduction plan.
Under US GAAP, Amarin reported a net loss of $19.3 million for the third quarter or basic and diluted loss per share of $0.05. Let me now turn our efforts and results in controlling costs and effectively managing our cash. As of September 30, 2023, Amarin reported aggregate cash and investments of $321 million, delivering a cash positive quarter of $8 million. Importantly, this is the fifth consecutive quarter of positive cash flow generation for Amarin, and our cash balance is now $15 million higher when compared to the third quarter of 2022. We have continued to make progress against our cost reduction program and managing our cash position. We are on track to deliver $40 million of annualized savings from the reduction in force announced in July of 2023.
We will continue to focus on cash preservation, find additional ways to reduce costs and prudently invest in the right opportunities which are value added. We have also continued to take steps to strengthen and streamline the company operationally, including making strides in renegotiating supply agreements to lower our future commitments. With these initiatives and the relatively stable trends in the US, we believe our current available cash and resources, including the US profitability, are adequate to support continued operations, including European launch activities. In closing, we will remain focused and vigilant in controlling costs and effectively managing our cash position. With that, I will now turn the call back over to Pat for closing remarks.
Patrick Holt: Thank you, Tom, for the financial overview of our results during the third quarter. As we look forward to the remainder of 2023 and into 2024, our team is focused on operating momentum to maximize shareholder value. That focus cuts across all three of our regions, Europe, the US, and rest of world. We firmly believe this focus on operational momentum is the best path forward for Amarin and will more strongly position us for future strategic options. Controlling costs and preserving cash are essential. With that said, we can only enhance the value of Amarin and therefore, deliver shareholder value by delivering results in our three core areas. Focused investments in Europe to accelerate prescription growth and revenues as well as securing pricing and reimbursement in key markets supported by a runway out to potentially 2039.
Extending VASCEPA branded revenue and profits in the US and enabling our partners to get our product into the hands of as many patients as possible around the world. Before I close, I'd like to make a comment about an important topic on all of our minds, our current stock price and performance. Like all of our shareholders, none of us are satisfied with the company's stock performance. We fundamentally do not believe our current valuation reflects true value of Amarin all the opportunities that lie ahead for the company and for VASCEPA/VAZKEPA. The company has a strong future because of our fundamentals that reinforce its value, our best-in-class science with a global opportunity and impact for cardiovascular patients, our team that is dedicated and delivering results and our strong balance sheet.
That is why we believe in Amarin, and we fundamentally believe the stock performance is disconnected from these facts. We believe we have the right plan based on operational momentum to drive shareholder value. Finally, I would like to thank our colleagues for their unwavering commitment and dedication. I look forward to delivering results and driving shareholder value together. And with that, Jordan, let's please begin the Q&A portion of today's call.
A - Jordan Zwick: Thank you, Pat. As we announced earlier in October, to enhance engagement with the company's shareholder base and facilitate connections with its investors, Amarin is partnering with Say Technologies to our retail and institutional shareholders to submit and upvote questions, a selection of which will be answered by Amarin management during today's earnings call. We will begin today's Q&A by addressing select questions on the Say platform. Our first question is regarding the fixed dose combination and any update the company can provide on that program.
Patrick Holt: Thanks very much for the question. And naturally, innovation is really important to the company. Look, whilst we're unable to disclose specific details on the program at this point, evaluating our priorities against resources, it's become clear that the fixed-dose combination is not a priority that will drive near-term value for the company. Therefore, the program is being deprioritized. Our very important R&D group continues to focus on global regulatory support, market access as well as our scientific publication strategy to support our product globally.
Jordan Zwick: Thank you, Pat. Our second question is on M&A. Are there any plans of selling the company to someone who can get VASCEPA/VAZKEPA effectively launched into the market?
Patrick Holt: Yeah. Thanks very much for this question also. And naturally, I received this question quite a lot since I joined the company. Look, management and the Board, naturally, we're really committed and we're very focused on the fact that our company today is significantly undervalued. And we're, therefore, collectively focused on maximizing shareholder value. We're focused on the operational momentum that we can deliver and the value that can create for the company and, therefore, for shareholders. This is the best path forward for us at this time, and as a result, strengthens our position for future strategic options.
Jordan Zwick: Our third question is on the stock price and potential delisting from NASDAQ. Can you comment on this?
Patrick Holt: Look, it's top of mind for all of us. It's a very important topic. Look, given that we've been trading under $1 for 30 consecutive trading days, we have received official notice of a potential delisting from NASDAQ. It's important to note that, that full process could take up to 360 days if we trade below $1, and there are a number of opportunities for us to regain compliance to NASDAQ rules. I mean, to state the obvious, our public listing is really important to investors, to the whole management team and to our employees. And the most important thing I want to share with you is that fundamentally, we're focused on enhancing operational momentum alongside our cash preservation approach that we believe will drive the stock price forward.
We're confident that we can achieve this. Before we take additional questions, I'd like to thank those shareholders who submitted questions via the Say Technologies platform this quarter. We are committed to continuing open and transparent dialogue with our shareholders and the Say Technologies platform is one way that we are trying to increase engagement and two-way dialogue with you. We look forward to continuing to hear from our shareholders and answering questions on this platform moving forward.
Jordan Zwick: Thank you, Pat. We will now open the Q&A up for additional questions.
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