Orange County Business Journal

Questcor Pharmaceuticals Shares Soar

Vita Reed Thursday, May 12, 2011

Shares of Anaheim drug maker Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc. shot up Thursday, on news of more new prescriptions for its sole drug.

Questcor shares rose as high as 20% before closing up 12% with a market value of $1.4 billion.

On Wednesday, the drug maker said that new paid prescriptions for its Acthar drug for treating multiple sclerosis flares were tracking “substantially higher” in the current quarter than in the first quarter.

Questcor also said that it was seeing similar trends on Acthar prescriptions for nephrotic syndrome, a kidney disorder, in the current quarter.

The drug maker will expand its sales efforts with a focus on nephrotic syndrome “without any decrease in the effort or momentum with MS,” Chief Executive Don Bailey said in a release.

Last month, Questcor’s shares posted double-digit percentage gains after it announced that its first-quarter sales would be higher than expected, thanks to a higher number of paid prescriptions for Acthar, including ones in which it retained the entire sales price of the drug, prior to Medicaid rebates.

Acthar, Questcor's sole drug, is also used to treat a rare form of epilepsy known as infantile spasms, besides multiple sclerosis flares and the kidney disease.