After U.S. markets closed yesterday, ophthalmic pharmaceutical company Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc. (AERI:NASDAQ), which is focused on discovering, developing and commercializing medicines to treat eye diseases including open-angle glaucoma, dry eye, diabetic macular edema (DME) and wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD), announced financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2021 ended December 31, 2021.
Aerie Pharmaceuticals' CEO Raj Kannan commented, "I am delighted to join Aerie at such an exciting time of our growth trajectory and pleased to report that 2021 was a productive year for Aerie. We delivered strong revenue growth for our first-in-class glaucoma franchise products, consisting of Rhopressa® and Rocklatan®, reported Phase 2b results on AR-15512 for dry eye, reported positive Phase 3 results on Rhopressa® for glaucoma in Japan, executed a second collaboration agreement with Santen and maintained a strong financial position. These achievements have set Aerie up for success in 2022 and beyond."
"In 2022, we expect to deliver continued revenue growth and share gains in our glaucoma franchise, advance AR-15512 to Phase 3 studies and make continued headway in driving greater efficiencies in our operations, while building out the right talent for the company…I am confident that our commercial and development product candidates have the potential to make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients and deliver outstanding value to our stockholders," CEO Kannan added.
The company reported that total net revenues in Q4/21 increased to $114.7 million, compared to $24.7 million in Q4/20.
The firm noted that the boost in revenue was primarily attributed to the addition of licensing revenues of $82.0 million related to the company's second agreement with Santen. The firm also advised that net product revenues from its Glaucoma franchise increased by 32% to $32.7 million, versus $24.7 in Q4/20.
Aerie Pharmaceuticals stated that in Q4/21 it achieved net income of $45.5 million, or net income of $0.96 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $46.1 million, or a net loss of $1.00 per diluted share in Q4/20.
For FY/21 the company advised that it registered total net revenues of $194.1 million compared to $83.1 million in FY/20. The firm indicated that net product revenues from its Glaucoma franchise increased by 35% to $112.1, compared to $83.1 million in FY/20.
The company noted that as of December 31, 2021, it had cash, cash equivalents and total investments totaling $139.8 million on its balance sheet, which was down from the $240.4 million as of December 31, 2020. Aerie pointed out; however, that in January 2022 it received $90 million according to the terms of its second agreement with Santen.
Aerie Pharmaceuticals provided some forward guidance and advised that it expects FY/22 Glaucoma franchise net product revenues to increase by 16-25% to $130-140 million.
The company added that it estimates that total net cash utilization will decrease by around 15% in FY/22.
In a separate news release yesterday, Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc. (AERI:NASDAQ) announced that it has hired Gary Sternberg, M.D., M.B.A. to serve as the firm's Chief Medical Officer (CMO) beginning March 1, 2022. Dr. Sternberg will become a member of the company's Executive Committee and will report directly to CEO Kannan.
The company mentioned that Dr. Sternberg is a fellowship-trained Ophthalmologist in cornea and external diseases and well-rounded biopharmaceutical executive with over 20 years of experience in clinical development, medical affairs, strategy and business development.
"I am pleased to welcome Dr. Gary Sternberg to Aerie and believe his broad industry experience will be very valuable to us. Gary brings a unique understanding of our targets and pipeline programs," remarked CEO Kannan.
Dr Sternberg added, "I have dedicated my career to developing novel ophthalmology products that could make the lives of patients and members of the global eye care community better. I am very excited to join Aerie because I believe the company is at an important inflection point, with an exciting first-in-class glaucoma franchise, and a pipeline that has the potential to make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients."
Aerie is an ophthalmic pharmaceutical firm headquartered in Durham, N.C. The company is engaged in discovering, developing, and marketing ophthalmic therapies to treat arrange of eye diseases and conditions including open-angle glaucoma, diabetic macular edema (DME), dry eye and wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD).
The company's leading commercial FDA-approved products are Rhopressa® (netarsudil ophthalmic solution) 0.02%, a once-daily eye drop and Rocklatan® (netarsudil (0.02%) and latanoprost ophthalmic solution (0.005%), which are both used to reduce elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension.
Aerie Pharmaceuticals began the day with a market cap of around $279.4 million with approximately 47.36 million shares outstanding and a short interest of about 9.9%. AERI shares opened 16% higher today at $6.86 (+$0.96, +16.27%) over yesterday's $5.90 closing price. The stock has traded today between $6.80 and $7.58 per share and is currently trading at $7.69 (+$1.79, +30.34%).
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