Corcept (CORT) Rides on Robust Korlym Sales, High Reliance a Woe
Corcept Therapeutics Incorporated’s CORT sole marketed drug, Korlym, is approved for the once-daily oral treatment of hyperglycemia — secondary to hypercortisolism — in adult patients with endogenous Cushing’s syndrome, who are suffering from type II diabetes or glucose intolerance and have already failed surgery or are unsuitable for the same.
The company’s top line solely comprises Korlym sales, which witnessed a year-over-year increase during the first nine months of 2022. The drug has been a consistent revenue driver since its approval.
Shares of Corcept have rallied 27.5% in the past year against the industry’s decline of 15.7%.
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Corcept's other pipeline candidates are also progressing with several data readouts, expected later in the ongoing year.
CORT’s lead pipeline candidate relacorilant is being evaluated in phase III of the GRACE study to treat Cushing’s syndrome. Enrollment is currently ongoing in said study. A new drug application for relacorilant is expected to be submitted in the second half of 2023.
Relacorilant is also being investigated in phase III of the GRADIENT study in patients, whose Cushing’s syndrome is caused by adrenal adenoma. Enrollment in this study is ongoing.
Corcept is also evaluating relacorilant in combination studies for treating solid tumors. The pivotal phase III ROSELLA study is evaluating relacorilant in combination with nab-paclitaxel for the treatment of patients with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer.
A phase Ib study is evaluating relacorilant in combination with Merck’s MRK blockbuster PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor, Keytruda (pembrolizumab), for treating patients suffering from adrenal cancer along with cortisol excess.
Merck’s biggest revenue generator, Keytruda, is approved for treating several types of cancer indications. MRK continues to study Keytruda for addressing more cancer indications.
Successful development and the potential approval of relacorilant for any of the above indications should lend a boost and lower the company’s heavy dependence on Korlym for growth.
In October 2022, CORT initiated the phase II DAZALS study evaluating its pipeline candidate, dazucorilant, for treating patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a destructive neuromuscular illness.
The company is evaluating miricorilant in the phase II GRATITUDE study for treating the reversal of antipsychotic-induced weight gain (“AIWG”). The phase II GRATITUDE 2 study is investigating miricorilant to reverse long-standing AIWG.
CORT is conducting a phase Ib dose-finding study evaluating miricorilant in patients with presumed non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. The company plans to start a phase II study later in the year.
The successful development and potential approval of other candidates will be an added boost to the company.
However, the company remains heavily dependent on Korlym for growth, which is a woe. Moreover, its pipeline is still some years away from commercialization. Hence, a decline in Korlym sales is likely to significantly hurt the company’s prospects.
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
Corcept currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the same sector are Assertio Holdings, Inc. ASRT and Altimmune, Inc. ALT, both carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Earnings estimates for Assertio have been revised upward by 13.6% for 2023 in the past 60 days.
Earnings of Assertio surpassed estimates in three of the trailing four quarters and missed on the other occasion. ASRT delivered an earnings surprise of 54.96% on average.
Loss per share estimates for Altimmune have narrowed 3.7% for 2023 in the past 60 days.
Earnings of Altimmune have surpassed estimates in each of the trailing four quarters. ALT delivered an earnings surprise of 13.74% on average.
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