Parnell Pharmaceuticals says first-half losses narrow as it gears up pipeline

Parnell Pharmaceuticals ($PARN), which went public a year ago, said it narrowed its losses in the first 6 months of the year as the Kansas-based maker of animal health drugs looks toward unleashing products it has in its pipeline.

The company said its total comprehensive losses for the 6-month period ended June 30, were $2.8 million versus $9.4 million for the same period a year ago, or a 16 cent loss per weighted share against $1.54.

Parnell, which began adding more sales, executive and support staff to its U.S. operations when it relocated its headquarters to Overland Park, KS in 2013, said administration expenses jumped to $3.8 million for the period compared to the $2 million recorded a year ago. Marketing costs rose to $2.5 million from $1.8 million.

Parnell CEO Robert Joseph

"Even though performance was not quite what we would like it to be for the first six months for this segment, materiality is rapidly decreasing as a result of our success in the new markets of the U.S.," Robert Joseph, chief executive, told analysts on an earnings call. "We also anticipate commencing the process of expanding our sales of our refracted home owned through marketing partners in other geographies such as Europe, which could come online in 2016."

Parnell recently completed a pivotal study of its drug Zydax, which is being developed to treat osteoarthritis in both dogs and horses. Zydax is currently available in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the Middle East, and the company hopes to gain FDA approval sometime late next year. It also plans to seek approval for the drug in Europe.

To that end, the company recently secured a loan for $11 million. Two products Parnell expects to launch this fall are Fetch, an app that educates owners about osteoarthritis, and Glyde, a nutraceutical product to treat the disease.

If given U.S. regulatory approval of Zydax, Parnell is likely to face stiff competition in the market that is currently dominated by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs. Rivals such as Nexvet Biopharma ($NVET) are also working toward new approaches to treating pain in companion animals.

"We think we can take 20% or more of this market and it (is close) to $90 million at the moment," Joseph told analysts. "So we do expect that we can achieve revenues sort of approaching $20 million for this product over time and certainly we are well underway to achieving that this year."

- see the earnings release (PDF)
- read the earnings call transcript