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GSK boosts outlook thanks to strong respiratory and vaccine sales

Key Q3 drivers include Shingrix vaccine and asthma drug Nucala


GlaxoSmithKline has raised its profit forecast for the second consecutive quarter thanks to the strong sales of its shingles vaccine Shingrix and the growth of its respiratory franchise. 

The British-drugmaker reported overall sales were up 11% to £9.4bn, with its pharmaceuticals business up 3% to £4.5bn and its vaccines business up to an impressive 15% to £2.3bn. Adjusted earnings per share were 38.6p, growing by 1% and also beating analyst expectations.

Emma walmsley“GSK has made further good progress in Q3, with sales growth across all three businesses, and we have today upgraded our full-year EPS guidance,” said Emma Walmsley (pictured left), GSK’s CEO.

“This quarter we have continued to strengthen our pipeline and have advanced assets in respiratory, HIV and, notably, oncology, where we are on track to file three innovative medicines by year end, following positive pivotal trial data,” she added.

New launches for respiratory products Nucala (mepolizumab) and Trelegy (vilanterol/umeclidinium/ fluticasone furoate) helped boost revenues in this area, bringing in £203m and £139m respectively. This offset the decline of its established pharmaceuticals – this includes its respiratory medicine Advair, which recently lost patent protection.

This was due to Nucala receiving EU approval for self-administration by patients with severe eosinophilic asthma, while its Trelegy triple therapy (Trelegy Ellipta) was also submitted to the FDA for approval in patients with asthma. Overall, total respiratory sales came in at £806m, up by 19% at constant exchange rates.

Also bringing the forecast up is GSK’s blockbuster vaccine Shingrix, which brought in sales of £535m, a growth of 76%.

This was driven by a strong trajectory in the US, and GSK is also looking “forward to our phased launches in China and Japan next year”, GSK’s president of global pharmaceuticals Luke Miels said in an investor call regarding the third quarter earnings.Zejula

Turning to its oncology franchise, GSK highlighted its PARP inhibitor Zejula, which it recently presented new data for women with ovarian cancer. The company plans to file Zejula in this indication by the end of 2019, and if approved will launch in 2020.

GSK also highlighted the success of its new oncology medicine Dostarlimab, which is used in the treatment of advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer. The drug is on track to be filed for approval with health authorities by the end of 2019.

Rounding out to consumer health, GSK reported a 25% growth to £2.5bn. At the end of last year, GSK announced a joint venture with Pfizer to combine the respective consumer health businesses, with this growth reflecting the divison as one of its strongest performers.

Its HIV franchise experienced neither growth nor decline, bringing in £1.3bn in the quarter. This reflects the growing competition from rival Gilead, among others in the therapy area.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

31st October 2019

From: Sales



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