Supernus Pharmaceuticals

Ticker: SUPN
IPO price: $5
Oct. 23 closing price: $12.27
Percentage gain: 145%

Shares of Supernus Pharmaceuticals ($SUPN) have rocketed up with two FDA nods since the Rockville, MD-based drug developer went public in May. The company had to more than halve the price of its shares to complete its $76 million IPO this year, yet those that bought into its maiden public offering have been rewarded. Its shares are trading at well more than double the $5 IPO price.

Supernus was formed through the 2005 buyout of Shire's ($SHPG) drug delivery business, giving the company some commercial pedigree out of the gate as opposed to biotechs founded on new lab discoveries.

Supernus' share price jumped more than 100% in late June when the FDA stamped a tentative approval on Trokendi XR, the company's extended-release version of the generic epilepsy med Topamax from Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ). And this week U.S. regulators handed down a positive ruling on the company's Oxtellar, a once-daily version of the epilepsy drug called oxcarbazepine, which Novartis ($NVS) markets as Trileptal.

FDA approvals can provide an immediate lift to biotech stocks. Yet often the real challenge for drug developers is successfully launching their new products onto the market. Supernus plans to begin sales of Oxtellar XR in the first quarter of 2013, as investors carefully track the launch in quarterly sales announcements next year that could drive the company's shares up or down depending on how the numbers look. Cowen & Company analysts are projecting peak sales of $90 million to $100 million for the drug.

Surpernus is expecting a longer wait on the market debut of Trokendi XR, pending final FDA approval of that drug that could mean a commercial launch in the third quarter of 2013, The Wall Street Journal reported.

For more:
Supernus shares soar on epilepsy drug OK
Supernus IPO spotlights perils, potential of going public
Supernus plots product launches as it dusts off $76M IPO attempt

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