Shares of BioDelivery Sciences fall after Q1 drug sales disappoint

Shares of BioDelivery Sciences International fell 7 percent Tuesday after the Raleigh company reported that sales of its treatment for opioid dependence were flat the first quarter compared with the previous quarter.

In a statement, CEO Mark Sirgo said the company is reorganizing its sale force for the drug, Bunavail, and reducing its marketing spending to “better align costs with revenue.” The moves are expected to result in savings of $20 million through 2017.

“We recognize that the sales trajectory for Bunavail has not yielded the results at the level we anticipated,” Sirgo said.

While prescription sales for Bunavail were flat compared with the previous quarter, revenue per prescription of the drug did rise 20 percent, from less than $60 in the fourth quarter of 2015 to more than $72 in the first quarter.

BioDelivery Sciences posted revenue of $3 million in the first quarter, with $2.1 million coming from sales of Bunavail. That was in line with the $2.97 million that was the consensus among analysts who cover the company, according to Bloomberg News.

BioDelivery Sciences reported a net loss of $18.7 million, or 36 cents per share, in the first quarter, compared with a loss of $8.2 million, or 16 cents a share, during the same period a year ago. Analysts had forecast a loss of 36 cents.

In February, BioDelivery Science’s partner, Endo Pharmaceuticals, began selling Belbuca, a new drug to treat chronic pain. BioDelivery Sciences is eligible to receive royalty payments on future U.S. sales of Belbuca, as well as sales milestone payments of up to $55 million.

The company had $69.4 million in cash as of the end of the quarter. When factoring in its cost-cutting initiatives and revisions to its loans, BioDelivery expects it will have enough cash to fund operations through the third quarter of 2017.

BioDelivery Sciences shares closed at $2.18, down 16 cents. The stock is down 54 percent this year.

David Bracken: 919-829-4548, @brackendavid