Shares of Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc. (QCOR: Quote) hit an all-time high Monday, powered by strong second quarter shipments of the company's flagship product -H.P. Acthar Gel, also called Acthar, a repository corticotropin injection.
Acthar is an injectable drug that is approved by the FDA for the treatment of 19 indications. Of these 19 indications, Questcor currently generates substantially all of its net sales from three indications namely, the treatment of acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis in adults, the treatment of nephrotic syndrome, and the treatment of infantile spasms in children under two years of age.
In a SEC filing dated July 9, the company noted that it shipped a total of 4,710 vials of Acthar in the second quarter ended June 30, 2012, compared to 4,111 vials of Acthar shipped in the previous quarter. During the second quarter of 2011, Questcor shipped 2,430 vials of Acthar.
According to preliminary estimates, paid Acthar prescriptions for multiple sclerosis increased to 400-410 in June from 365 in May and 339 in April. Paid Acthar Prescriptions for Nephrotic Syndrome were 115-120 in June, up from 103 in May and 94 in April.
Seeking to enter other markets where Acthar has FDA approval beyond the three key markets, Questcor is planning to commercialize Acthar in the treatment of rheumatology-related indications. Accordingly, the company has substantially completed the hiring of its pilot Rheumatology Sales Force, the filing says.
The expansion of the company's Nephrology Sales Force has also been completed from 28 to 58 representatives, and the Neurology Sales Force has been expanded from 77 to 109 representatives with hiring and training expected to be completed next month, according to the filing.
The company is scheduled to report its second quarter results on July 24 after the close of markets.
QCOR hit an all-time high of $58.91 on Monday before closing the day's trading at $57.64, up 14.75%, on a volume of 6.56 million shares.
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