2013 Could be a Blockbuster Year for Amarin (AMRN) and It All Starts Next Week - Analyst

January 2, 2013 10:40 AM EST
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Price: $3.02 --0%

Rating Summary:
    8 Buy, 11 Hold, 0 Sell

Rating Trend: Up Up

Today's Overall Ratings:
    Up: 0 | Down: 0 | New: 0
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Despite rising 8 percent in 2012, by most accounts it was a very disappointing year for Amarin (NASDAQ: AMRN) shareholders. After receiving FDA approval for Vascepa mid-year, and seeing its stock rise as much as 113%, shares came crashing down at the end of the year as its triglyceride-lowering drug failed to gain NCE status, forcing the company into a 'go-it-alone' strategy on the launch of the drug. Although 2012 was a rocky year for the company, some bulls think 2013 could be the company's year as it embarks on the drug launch.

Today, analysts at Canaccord Genuity reiterated their Buy rating and $17 price target on Amarin saying they expect a strategy update shortly and noted that three health care plans are already covering the drug.

Canaccord's Ritu Baral said they expect more details on launch marketing strategy and coverage progress at the company's Jan. 7 presentation next week in San Francisco.

"We expect AMRN to provide detailed coverage metrics, including more color on different plans and the number of covered lives," Baral comments. "We also expect more details on other launch preparations, including an update on the sales force hires (which we expect to be largely finalized), marketing messages, pricing, medical education events/campaigns and trade advertising. We believe AMRN will be training its sales force in the next few weeks ahead of a likely February commercial launch."

Vascepa already has initial coverage at Cigna, Aetna and Humana, the analyst notes, with AMRN continuing to target Tier 2 coverage status.

"Humana announced Vascepa requires prior authorization for coverage, with previous treatment, intolerance, or contraindication to Lovaza and a Fibrate or Nicotinic acid. AMRN expects this standard initial prior-auth need by Humana will be removed in ~2 months (after additional talks with AMRN) and ultimately that the drug will reach tier 2 coverage. Humana represents ~ 6M covered lives. Vascepa already has Tier 3 coverage (no prior auth requirement) with Cigna and Aetna, which together represent ~18M covered lives."

At the Jan. 7 presentation, the firm is expecting detail on some or all of the below:
  • The plans that have already conferred coverage of Vascepa
  • Number of covered lives represented by these plans
  • Coverage levels Vascepa has at these plans
  • If prior authorization is required, and if so what are the hurdles
  • Potential timing or removal of prior-authorization or move to Tier 2
  • Update on the sales force hires, including district managers and field force
  • Update on training activities
  • Detail on Vascepa marketing message or Lovaza counter-detail message
  • Pricing and potential discounts offered/extended/considered
  • Planned medical education events/campaigns
  • Planned events/CME around ACC, AHA and other medical meetings
  • Planned Trade advertising and future DTC campaigns
  • Current production capabilities at Nisshin plant
  • Current inventory and expected supplier inventory range
  • Future production capabilities from sNDA suppliers and other contracted

    For an analyst ratings summary and ratings history on Amarin Corporation click here. For more ratings news on Amarin Corporation click here.

    Shares of Amarin Corporation closed at $8.10 yesterday.

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