Adamas confirms that solo launches are best avoided

It is widely accepted that drug launches by small, independent manufacturers are high risk, and Adamas's effort with Gocovri is proving no exception. For the second quarterly results in a row the company has seen a third sliced from its market cap on concerns about demand for the Parkinson’s disease treatment. Last night executives retracted guidance for 2019 and said growth in prescriptions had slowed over the past two quarters and would probably continue to do so into the first part of 2019. Adamas blamed a more aggressive sampling programme that it has implemented to give the product a boost; investors could be forgiven for feeling that this move could have been taken sooner. Concerns about Gocovri’s underwhelming numbers have been growing – Adamas shares have dropped 81% since peaking in early 2018, a couple of months after the product was launched. Most sellside analysts leapt to the company’s defence this morning and seem to be sticking to long-term sales forecasts; consensus for sales in 2020 sits at $128m, according to EvaluatePharma, implying a substantial uptick from the $34m reported for 2018. However, even the sellside’s patience can wear thin, and it seems highly unlikely that another show of support will emerge should another disappointing quarter follow.

Good company? Some disappointing US solo launches over the past 5 years
Product Company Launch Share price since approval
Zemdri Achaogen Jul 2018 -89%
Gocovri Adamas Oct 2017 -71%
Nerlynx Puma Biotechnology Jul 2017 -59%
Tymlos Radius Health May 2017 -43%
Rubraca Clovis Oncology Dec 2016 -36%
Nuplazid Acadia May 2016 -23%
Andexxa Portola Jun 2018 -21%
Tibsovo Agios Sep 2018 -17%

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