Shares in Novocure (NSDQ:NVCR) rose slightly today in premarket activity after the medical device maker met sales expectations, but missed earnings estimates on Wall Street with its fourth quarter and full-year financial results.
The St. Helier, N.J.-based company reeled in losses this quarter, posting -$10.9 million on sales of $53.7 million for the 3 months ended Dec. 31, for sales growth of 78% compared with the same period last year.
Adjusted to exclude 1-time items, earnings per share were -12¢, a penny behind consensus on The Street, where analysts were looking for sales of $53.6 million.
For the full year, Novocure posted a net loss of -$61.7 million on sales of $177 million, up 114% from the previous year.
“With more than 1,800 patients on therapy at year-end, the fourth quarter of 2017 was our 12th consecutive quarter of active patient growth since the initial presentation of our EF-14 Phase III pivotal clinical trial data,” CEO Asaf Danziger said in prepared remarks. “I am proud of the progress we made in 2017.”
“We believe Novocure has significant potential to both grow our GBM business and to expand into additional solid tumor indications,” chairman William Doyle added. “We now have more than 1,100 centers certified across three regions of the world, reflecting our growing global commercial reach, and we believe there are far more patients who could benefit from treatment with Optune than are currently on therapy. With three ongoing Phase III pivotal trials and data expected from a large Phase II pilot trial in mesothelioma in 2018, we believe we are still at the beginning of our journey.”
NVCR shares were trading at $21.75 apiece today in premarket activity, up 0.9%.
Novocure’s system, Optune, delivers low-intensity, intermediate frequency, alternating electric fields, called “Tumor Treating Fields,” to inhibit cancer cell replication.
In a pivotal Phase III trial comparing Optune and temozolomide to temozolomide alone, the combination therapy significantly extended overall survival for patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma.
Data from the trial also showed that patients in the Optune group maintained their quality of life for a longer period of time compared to patients in the temozolomide group.
In December, the Japanese government agreed to reimburse for Novocure’s Optune as a therapy for newly-diagnosed GBM.