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Celgene earnings rise

Celgene has reported strong third quarter results, with earnings up 30 per cent over the same period last year

Celgene has reported strong third quarter results, with earnings up 30 per cent over the same period last year, mainly due to increased sales of the multiple myeloma drug Revlimid (lenalidomide). The biotech company's net profit rose to $281.2m, or 60 cents a share, from $217m, or 46 cents a share a year ago. Revenue rose to $910.1m from $695m a year ago.

Sales of Revlimid, the next-generation version of the company's Thalomid, rose 43 percent to $641.3m. "Revlimid growth was strong in all major markets in the US," Celgene CEO Bob Hugin said during a conference call with investors, noting that the drug now has a 42 per cent share of the overall myeloma market.

"Increasing duration of treatment also remains a key growth driver," he said. "Data from three phase III trials supporting continuous therapy with Revlimid has impacted uptake and duration of treatment in the US."

"We're not nearly at the end of the Revlimid growth story," the CEO promised, pointing out that the drug is also in trials for other cancer indications.

Vidaza, which treats rare myelodysplastic syndromes, also performed well in the third quarter, with sales up 37 per cent to $141.4m.

For the full year, the company expects total revenues to increase approximately 34 per cent to about $3.6bn, up from a previously announced expectation of a range of $3.40 to $3.45bn. Earnings per share for 2010 are now expected to rise 34 per cent year-over-year to a range of $2.78 to $2.80, up from a previous range of $2.65 to $2.70. The figures include the impact of the acquisition of Abraxis BioScience under a deal that was signed earlier this year to help expand Celgene's reach beyond its core hematology business.

"The acquisition gives us an immediate commercial presence in the solid tumour market and substantially expands our solid tumour pipeline," Hugin said during the call. "We're off to a good start in launching Celgene Oncology." 

29th October 2010

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