Hikma bolsters sales forecasts as CEO looks to steer company toward specialty pharmaceuticals 

Hikma Pharmaceuticals announced alongside its financial results Friday that it is anticipating improved forecasts for its generic and injectables segments this year, while CEO Siggi Olafsson suggested he is looking to turn the generic drugmaker into a specialty pharmaceuticals business. "I put out quite an aggressive guidance when I first joined the company…[and] I think we are getting very close to that," he said, adding that "in five years time my goal would be to slowly transform the company into more of a specialty company." 

Specifically, Olafsson sees Hikma becoming a specialty company more focused on products that are not a priority for larger pharmaceutical firms, such as antibiotics and medicines in the Middle East and North Africa region.

In the first six months of the year, Hikma said it generated $1 billion in sales, representing year-over-year growth of 7%. The firm recorded 5% growth in injectables revenue to $432 million, including 3% higher core revenue for US injectables at $317 million. Meanwhile, generics sales for the first half of the year climbed 11% to $368 million, which the company attributed to higher volumes and an improved product mix.

Regarding the full year, Hikma anticipates injectables revenue in the range of $870 million to $900 million year, versus a prior forecast of $850 million to $900 million. The drugmaker also expects full-year generics revenue of $690 million to $720 million, compared with an estimate of $650 million to $700 million previously. 

"Our good half-year financial results demonstrate the breadth and resilience of our marketed portfolio, successful pipeline launches and actions we've taken to reduce costs and increase efficiencies," stated Olafsson, continuing "I am very pleased with our first half performance, and the increase in our full year guidance reflects our confidence for the remainder of the year." 

The company recently signed a five-year agreement with Civica Rx aiming to prevent generic drug shortages in the US. Hikma has also entered into a separate partnership with Gedeon Richter to commercialise the antipsychotic cariprazine in certain Middle East and North African markets. 

Earlier this month, Hikma appointed Shahin Fesharaki as its chief scientific officer and global head of R&D, a move it expects will boost its R&D capabilities. 

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