Indivior shares dive on profit warning, dropping of schizophrenia drug (July 9)

(In July 9 story, corrects ticker symbol for Otsuka in paragraph 4)

By Radhika Anilkumar

(Reuters) -Drugmaker Indivior Plc slashed its 2024 profit forecast while signaling a slowdown in sales of its top-selling opioid addiction treatment, and said it would discontinue sales of its schizophrenia drug Perseris, prompting its shares to plunge 44% on Tuesday.

Indivior’s Sublocade drug has faced intense competition from the launch of a rival, as well as the end of pandemic-relief measures that has led to loss of coverage in the United States for some people enrolled in government-backed Medicaid plans.

“Sublocade net revenue has continued to be impacted more than we expected by a combination of transitory factors,” said CEO Mark Crossley.

The company said it was taking “decisive action that we believe is in the best interest of shareholders” by discontinuing sales of Perseris, which competes with rivals from Johnson & Johnson and Otsuka.

The discontinuation would result in 130 job cuts, it said.

London-listed shares in the company, which moved its primary listing to the United States last month, were down 44% at 660 pence in morning trade, while the U.S.-listed shares fell 40% in pre-market trading.

Perseris, which is used for the treatment of schizophrenia in adults, made up nearly 4% of Indivior’s revenue last year and was expected to contribute to the company’s overall profitability in 2024.

Max Herrmann, an analyst at Stifel, said the forecast cut was “clearly very disappointing news”.

He said the launch by Swedish drugmaker Camurus of its own opioid addiction medication Brixadi, was hitting the growth of Sublocade, along with the Medicaid disenrolment, but added that Indivior’s opioid drugs would be significant treatments for the disorder in the long term.

The company lowered its adjusted operating profit forecast to between $285 million to $320 million from $330 million-$380 million.

It also cut its net revenue forecast for Sublocade, which contributed to 58% of its revenue in 2023, to a range of $765 million and $805 million from $820 million to $880 million.

(Reporting by Radhika Anilkumar in Bengaluru; editing by Sonia Cheema, Sohini Goswami, Jason Neely and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)


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