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Indivior unveils big upgrade as Suboxone digs in against generic competitors

Shaun Thaxter, chief executive, said the erosion of Suboxone Film’s market share had been slower than forecast
Suboxone Film lost its patent protection earlier in the year

Indivior PLC (LON:INDV) shares jumped higher on Thursday after the FTSE 250-listed firm raised its forecasts for this year sharply higher as it revealed that its key opioid dependency product, Suboxone is doing better than expected against new generic competitors.

Shaun Thaxter, Indivior's chief executive, said the erosion of Suboxone Film’s market share had been slower than forecast, which has also bolstered the group's cash position.

The company - which was demerged from Reckitt Benckiser PLC (LON:RB.) in 2014 - now expects 2019 sales to be between US$670mln–US$720mln compared to a previous forecast of US$525mln to US$570mln.

Net income will be in the range of US$80mln-US130mln, it added, compared to the previous forecast for a possible loss of US$40mln, with cash at the year-end forecast to be US$985mln.

Indivior maintained the sales forecast for Sublocade at US$50mln-70mln.

Sublocade is a once-monthly injectable version of Suboxone that Indivior hopes will halt the charge of generic competitors such as  Dr Reddy’s and Alvogen.

The company is also embroiled in a major court case relating to how Suboxone Film has historically been marketed in the US.

In April, a federal grand jury in Virginia charged the company with 28 counts of healthcare fraud, wire fraud and mail fraud, a move Indivior described as “extremely disappointing.”

Former parent Reckitt today revealed that it has paid US$1.4bn to settle the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission’s investigation into how Suboxone Film was sold and marketed prior to Indivior being demerged.

George Salmon, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown commented: "The read across for Indivior is limited as the two cases are separate. But Indivior investors received a boon nonetheless, with an encouraging trading update". 

In lunchtime trading, shares in Indvior were 18.6% higher at 52.52p.

 -- Adds analyst comment, share price --

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