Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd. shares, which jumped almost 80 percent Friday after the FDA moved closer to approving the company’s treatment for travelers’ diarrhea, rose another 14 percent on Monday after it announced that third-quarter sales tripled.
Shares of the Raleigh-based drugmaker rose more than 14 percent to $8.97 at the close. That’s 99 cents higher than Friday’s close of $7.98, which was an increase of $3.53 spurred by the FDA announcement.
Third-quarter sales of Salix’s Colazal treatment for colitis rose to $8.7 million from $2.8 million a year earlier. The net loss widened to $8.7 million, or 41 cents a share, from $5.1 million, or 30 cents, as Salix says it spent more on marketing and research.
“The company’s infrastructure is now substantially in place, and during the third quarter we continued to focus our efforts on leveraging this infrastructure by maximizing the commercial potential of Colazal and rifaximin and by acquiring or in-licensing additional products–,” Carolyn Logan, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “The development of rifaximin, our investigational drug under review for the treatment of travelers’ diarrhea, is progressing on track–. We will continue to work diligently to successfully complete the approval process and prepare for the launch of our second product.”
On Friday, the FDA sent a so-called “approvable letter” to Salix for rifaximin. An approvable letter spells out conditions a company must meet before a medicine is approved. Rifaximin is already sold by other companies outside the United States.
Salix is some 10 months into the U.S. approval process for rifaximin. From here, the company will review the approvable letter and then follow up with the FDA. Salix will have to submit an amendment covering questions in the letter, at which time the FDA will have six months to take one of three actions: issue another approvable letter, approve the drug or not.