Thrombogenics announced the launch price of Jetrea in the US: $ 3,950 per vial, which is very much in line with our assumption of $ 4,000, and around 10% higher than consensus. We up our target to € 48 (from € 45).
The company said to be on track to launch Jetrea on the previously guided date of Monday 14 January 2012. A presentation at a leading US healthcare conference in planned for next week.
The news on the pricing is very important and represented still a key uncertainty for investors. Based on management’s guidance that the price of a vial would be ‘higher than $ 3,000’, we had upped our pricing assumption from $ 3,000 to $ 4,000 early October. Today’s announcement thus confirms our assumptions. However, the market’s consensus (ex KBCS) for the US pricing was at $ 3,667/vial or close to 10% lower than the actual price. We thus expect the market to positively adjust its sales and earnings forecasts.
While the $ 4,000/vial price tag is positive, the company has clearly chosen to price the product at the higher end of the price-elasticity range, which puts some risk at the prescribing behaviour of US doctors (a high pricing implies doctors carry more financial risk when not reimbursed upon using the product). Sufficient company measures to allow quick reimbursement will thus be key to ensure a good product pick-up. We understand the marketing strategy will in a first instance focus on convincing retinal specialists on the use of Jetrea for macular hole resolution (supported by very strong clinical data) and from there on broaden the use in moderate stage of VMA.
What’s next to come?
- 17 January: European approval: CHMP opinion expected on 17 january. Given the enthusiasm and the label granted by the US FDA and the recent quality stamp by the (very stringent) UK NICE (see our morning note of 28 November), we assume a positive opinion to be very likely.
- End of March: primary end-point results of the VMA resolution in Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) patient.
- End of 1H13: secondary end-point results of the (2,49 USD, -1,58%) trial looking at endpoints such as vision improvement and potentially lowered use of VEGF therapy. If positive, this would be strong support for using Jetrea in those patients that have reduced response to VEGF therapies (such as Lucentis or Eylea), estimated at around 30% of the patients
Today’s news on the pricing takes away another uncertainty and should positively surprise the market. With product launch a fact, we up our probability of success assumption from 95% to 100% and incorporating the adjusted time-value of cash flows, our NPV now points to € 47.5/sh, of which Jetrea for VMA represents € 39.8/sh (from € 38.6), ocriplasmin for other indications (AMD, DME) € 3.2/sh, while the remainder is mainly related to cash. New TP at € 48 (from € 45) and Buy rating maintained. 16.021.026.031.036.041.046.0JFMAMJJASND80105130154179204229PriceRel. to index (RHS)