Celgene lifts annual guidance as second-quarter sales, profit rise

Celgene announced Thursday that second-quarter sales jumped 17 percent year-over-year to $1.9 billion, edging above analyst estimates, boosted by robust sales of Revlimid. Meanwhile, net income in the quarter reached $597.8 million, up from $478.1 million in the prior-year period.

"Strong second-quarter operating and financial results demonstrate the significant momentum of our portfolio and support raising our 2014 guidance," commented CEO Bob Hugin. He noted the company anticipates "multiple milestones in the second half of the year, including the expansion of Otezla into psoriasis and the further advancement of our pipeline."

The company reported that three-month revenue for Revlimid climbed 15 percent to $1.2 billion, driven by greater volume in both the US and international markets, as well as "increased duration of therapy and continued market share leadership in multiple myeloma." Celgene said the drug posted 15-percent higher sales in the US, at $716 million, with international revenue up 17 percent to $498 million. Meanwhile, sales of Abraxane rose 39 percent to $215 million, including US and international revenue of $160 million and $55 million, respectively. Celgene attributed the rise to the "impact of the ongoing US launch in pancreatic cancer and early launch success for pancreatic cancer in Europe."

The drugmaker noted that general expenses were $440 million in the second quarter, up from $384 million in the year-ago period, primarily due to expenditures tied to the US launch of Otezla (apremilast) for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis following its FDA approval in March. According to Celgene, underlying demand for Otezla "grew steadily" after its April launch, and the oral PDE4 inhibitor "ended the quarter sharing the market share lead for new patient starts." Otezla, which generated revenue of $5 million for the quarter, is also under review in the US for psoriasis and in Europe for the treatment of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

For the full year, Celgene indicated that sales are expected to reach $7.6 billion, up from prior guidance of $7.5 billion, including projected total net product sales of above $7.5 billion from an earlier estimate of between $7.3 billion and $7.4 billion. Further, earnings per share are predicted to be in the range of $3.60 to $3.65, whereas the company had forecast between $3.50 and $3.60 previously. Celgene also narrowed its outlook for full-year Revlimid sales to about $4.95 billion from prior guidance of between $4.9 billion and $5 billion, while Abraxane is projected to contribute $850 million to $900 million.

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