We wanted to create a new investment thesis

CEO Joe Wiley 


What the company does

Amryt Pharma PLC (LON:AMYT) sells and develops orphan drugs used to treat rare diseases with two products on the market.

Last year, Amryt acquired US group Aegerion Pharmaceuticals out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a transaction backed by convertible bondholders, creditors and Nasdaq-listed Novelion Therapeutics, Aegerion’s parent company.

The complex transaction gave Amryt full control of the Lojuxta cholesterol treatment.

How it’s doing 

Business performance exceeded expectations in the first quarter of 2020, Amryt reported in May.

The commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company, which is focused on life-threatening rare diseases, said its revenues in the first quarter of this year rose by 30% to US$44.6mln from US$34.3mln in the corresponding period of 2019.

Revenues were 10% higher quarter-on-quarter.

The group made an adjusted operating profit of US$4.6mln before finance expenses versus a loss of US$2.8mln in the same quarter of last year.

Reported losses deepened to US$30.8mln from a loss of US$5.4mln the previous year.

At the end of March, the company had unrestricted cash and cash equivalents of US$67mln.

Key drug

In April, Amryt said the read-out from its phase III study of its AP101 cream, a potential breakthrough treatment for a rare skin condition is likely late in the third quarter, or early in the fourth quarter of this year.

The timeline was provided in a statement in which Amryt said its Global EASE trial would be concluded slightly earlier than anticipated against the backdrop of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Independent advice suggested the impact at this advanced stage of the recruitment process the would be “statistically negligible”.

The company’s AP101 cream is being developed for epidermolysis bullosa (EB), a chronic and distressing genetic skin disorder that causes the skin layers and internal body linings to separate.

What the boss says: Joe Wiley, chief executive 

“We have experienced strong revenue growth and the business is significantly EBITDA positive a quarter ahead of schedule.

“We believe Amryt is now very well-positioned to execute on our strategy of becoming a global leader in rare and orphan diseases and most importantly, delivering therapies to patients with unmet needs.

“We look forward to the top-line data readout from our EASE study in late Q3 or early Q4 which will represent a significant milestone for Amryt.”

Another Shire Pharma?

Its story is similar to that of Shire, founded by the company’s chairman Harry Stratford, which grew to be one of the nation’s top 50 largest businesses, developing a portfolio of niche medications.

“We wanted to create a new investment thesis,” said CEO Wiley.

“We wanted to say you can invest in a solid business that will generate cash flow; that is sustainable into the future and will grow with the upside of potential new drugs and the other development pipeline opportunities we have.”

What the broker says

Stifel reckons Amryt and Aegerion are stronger together with sales from the Lojuxta stable to reach US$310mln by 2022