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Top biotech firms saw sales jump in 2014

But rate of growth slowing from the past five years according to new analysis

 Eylea packshot

The combined total revenues for the group of 35 mid-cap biotech companies increased 21.9% last year, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.

The company's latest report found that sales grew from $24.8bn in 2013 to $26.5bn in 2014 - but this growth was marginally slower than during the previous five years, as total revenues for this peer group expanded at 25.2% between 2009 and 2013.

Adam Dion, GlobalData's healthcare industry analyst, says the rise in biotech peer group total revenue over the past year was driven by Regeneron and Alexion, both of which posted sales of more than $2bn in 2014.

Dion explains: “Regeneron's sales grew by 34% in 2014, as the company continued its commercialisation of [eye disease drug] Eylea (afilibercept) to markets outside the US, including for the treatment of macular oedema secondary to central retinal vein occlusion in both the EU and Japan.

“Alexion saw sales from its orphan drug Soliris (eculizumab) increase from $1.6bn in 2013 to $2.2bn in 2014. Alexion reported a higher volume of unit shipments and better-than-expected demand for Soliris across all geographic regions, especially in the EU, thanks to a reimbursement agreement with the French government.”

The analyst adds that Pharmacyclics, which was acquired by pharmaceutical giant AbbVie last month, was the peer group revenue growth leader in 2014. Its sales shot up by 180% in 2014 to $729m, representing an absolute dollar increase of nearly $470m.

GlobalData attributes this surge to Pharmacyclics recognizing nearly $493m in new product revenue from sales of Imbruvica (ibrutinib), the company's first-in-class BTK inhibitor approved to treat blood cancer patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and mantle cell lymphoma.

By contrast, some companies experienced sales decreases, most notably Vertex, which saw revenues decline by 52.1%, from $1.2bn in 2013 to $580.4m in 2014.

Dion added: “This drop was largely attributable to sliding sales of Incivek (telaprevir), Vertex's hepatitis C virus protease inhibitor, which fell by $442.3m compared with 2013, primarily as a result of increased competition from Gilead's Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) and Janssen's Olysio (simeprevir).”

Article by
Ben Adams

8th April 2015

From: Sales

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