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UPDATE 2-Amneal Pharma cuts core profit forecast on allergy shot supply issues

issues@ (Adds details on EpiPen shortage, analyst comment)

July 10 (Reuters) - Amneal Pharmaceuticals Inc on Wednesday cut its 2019 core earnings forecast, citing the uncertain supply of its epinephrine auto-injectors amid a global shortage of the emergency allergy shots, including Mylan NV's EpiPen.

Shares of the company dropped 9% before the opening bell.

The drugmaker now expects full-year adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization in the range $425 million to $475 million, compared with its previous forecast of $600 million to $650 million.

The forecast cut, though disappointing, was expected, said Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Louise Chen, adding that investors were concerned that the previous forecast was too high.

The supply disruption has plagued Amneal for over a year, and the company saw its 2018 combined generics net revenue fall 2.6%, hurt mainly by lower sales of its epinephrine auto-injector.

Mylan remains the market leader for the emergency allergy shots that deliver a dose of epinephrine in the event of potentially life-threatening allergic reactions to a number of triggers, such as bee stings or peanuts.

However, manufacturing delays have led to a short supply of EpiPen in the United States, Europe and Canada and the treatment has remained on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's list of drugs in shortage for more than a year, leaving many keen for alternatives.

On Tuesday, Novartis AG said it would make its generic pre-filled epinephrine shots immediately available in local pharmacies across the United States.

Amneal also unveiled a restructuring plan expected to reduce its total annual cost base by about $50 million, with the majority of the restructuring milestones to be achieved during 2020.

The company did not clarify whether there would be any job cuts as a part of the cost-saving plan, but said that affected employees will be covered under a transition plan.

In addition to supply issues of the allergy shots at its third-party manufacturer during the seasonally strong third quarter, Amneal also cited continuing market pressure and delays in regulatory approvals and launches as other reasons for the lowered forecast.

Amneal said it would revise its remaining 2019 forecast metrics when it reports its second-quarter results on Aug. 8. (Reporting by Saumya Sibi Joseph in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)