Questcor -4.6% AH on Retrophin synthetic ACTH development candidate news

|By:, SA News Editor

Questcor Pharmaceuticals (QCOR) shares fall 4.6% AH after Retrophin (RTRX) fires a shot across Achtar's bow, announcing that it is developing a synthetic ACTH analog candidate called RE-034.

Retrophin intends to file an Investigational New Drug application and initiate a Phase I trial in 1H 2014. It then plans to initiate Phase III trials of RE-034 for the treatment of infantile spasms and nephrotic syndrome, both of which are use cases of Achtar.

CEO Martin Shkreli: "our synthetic ACTH can potentially bring relief to the high cost burden associated with the currently available animal-derived formulation in the U.S."

Short seller Citron Research has targeted Questcor in the past on issues of pricing and substitution, stating that Synacthen (the rights for which Questcor recently acquired) is a synthetic equivalent of Achtar that has been prescribed in Europe for over a decade "at 1/1000th the price."