Celgene lifts full-year sales estimate for Revlimid on second-quarter performance

Celgene indicated Thursday alongside its second-quarter results that it now projects that annual sales of Revlimid will rise to between $4.2 billion and $4.3 billion, up from the $4.1 billion to $4.2 billion forecast previously, representing a 13-percent increase over 2012. The company said sales for the drug jumped 13 percent during the quarter to $1.1 billion, helped by overall market share gains and increased duration of therapy.

Last week, Celgene halted the Phase III ORIGIN study of Revlimid in elderly patients with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukaemia after the drug was associated with a higher death rate than chlorambucil. However, CEO Bob Hugi remarked that the positive outcome of the MM-020 trial, which showed that Revlimid plus dexamethasone significantly extended progression-free survival in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma, "along with other clinical and regulatory milestones met in the quarter…support our commitment to our long-term growth outlook."

For the year, Celgene now sees per-share earnings of $5.80 to $5.90 and product sales of $6.2 billion, versus previous estimates of between $5.55 and $5.65 on product sales of $6 billion.

Second-quarter net income reached $478.1 million, compared with $367.4 million in the same period last year, while overall revenue rose 17 percent to $1.6 billion, besting analyst estimates of about $1.5 billion. Vidaza sales continued to rise despite having lost patent exclusivity in May 2011, gaining 5 percent over the year-ago period to $211 million, with Celgene saying non-US sales were driven primarily by buying patterns and increased demand in the Asia-Pacific region and Latin America.

Abraxane revenue was up 41 percent year-over-year to $155 million, with sales in the US bolstered by increased use in non-small-cell lung cancer, while higher international sales were attributed to greater demand in breast cancer treatment. Meanwhile, Pomalyst, which was approved in February, totalled $66 million in its first full quarter of sales (for related analysis, see ViewPoints: Launch of Celgene's Pomalyst fails to blunt growth for Onyx's myeloma treatment Kyprolis).

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