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Biotech's Launch of Pain Product Shows Encouraging Early Metrics
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Francois Brisebois, an analyst with Laidlaw & Co., reviewed this firm's progress since commercially debuting its primary asset.

Knee joint

In a May 9 research note, analyst Francois Brisebois with Laidlaw & Co. reported that Flexion Therapeutics Inc. (FLXN:NASDAQ) announced its first full quarter's results, those of Q1/18, after its launch of Zilretta in November 2017.

Sales for the extended-release corticosteroid during the quarter totaled $2.2 million ($2.2M), compared to consensus of $2.7M. "We continue to consider 2018 a foundation year and aren't concerned with slight misses, especially in H1/18," wrote Brisebois. During the quarter, operating expenses were "much lower than anticipated."

Since Zilretta hit the market, Flexion "called on 8,500 of about 10,500 target prescribers in 3,700 target accounts," Brisebois noted. Roughly 40% have reordered, an "encouraging" metric.

Flexion's near-term clinical catalysts, Brisebois added, could support the launch. Specifically, in Q2/18, pharmacokinetic and safety data are due for the company's trial of Zilretta in bilateral knee osteoarthritis. In Q3/18, topline data should become available for the biotech's Phase 3 repeat dose study.

About the launch of Zilretta, Brisebois concluded that while it is still in an early stage, "we see many positive signs as a result of adequate preparations."

Laidlaw has a Buy rating and a $38 per share target price on Flexion, whose stock is now trading at around $25.78 per share.

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Disclosures from Laidlaw & Co., Flexion Therapeutics, Company Report, May 9, 2018

ANALYST CERTIFICATION The analyst responsible for the content of this report hereby certifies that the views expressed regarding the company or companies and their securities accurately represent his personal views and that no direct or indirect compensation is to be received by the analyst for any specific recommendation or views contained in this report. Neither the author of this report nor any member of his immediate family or household maintains a position in the securities mentioned in this report.

Laidlaw & Company has received compensation from the subject company for investment banking services in the past 12 months and expects to receive or intends to seek compensation for investment banking services from the company in the next three months.

As of the date of this report, neither the author of this report nor any member of his immediate family or household maintains an ownership position in the securities of the company (ies) mentioned in this report.

Associated persons of Laidlaw & Co (UK), Ltd not involved in the preparation of this report may have investments in securities/instruments or derivatives of securities/instruments of companies mentioned herein and may trade them in ways different from those discussed in this report. While Laidlaw & Co (UK), Ltd., prohibits analysts from receiving any compensation. Bonus or incentive based on specific recommendations for, or view of, a particular company, investors should be aware that any or all of the foregoing, among other things, may give rise to real or potential conflicts of interest.

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