Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. reported profit fell amid continued economic weakness in Latin America, while expenses climbed.
The company, which focuses on a narrow range of treatments for rare diseases, also said it expects profit and revenue for the year to come in at the low end of its previous guidance.
Sales of Soliris, a treatment for serious genetic-based blood conditions that affect a very small percentage of the global population, rose to $665 million from $600 million a year ago.
Alexion posted a profit of $92.2 million, or 41 cents a share, compared with $91.3 million, or 45 cents a share, from a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, per-share earnings fell to $1.11 from $1.28.
Revenue climbed 17% to $701 million. The company said foreign exchange shaved 5% off the top line.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters forecast per-share earnings of $1.13 on revenue of $712 million.
The company said total operating expenses were $476.2 million in the latest quarter, compared with $427.2 million a year ago.
In May, Alexion agreed to pay $8.4 billion to buy Synageva, a smaller maker of medicines for rare diseases—the latest sign of a robust market for promising new drugs. The move continued the deal-making frenzy among pharmaceutical companies centered on rare diseases, treatments that have been considered attractive because regulators often give their marketers financial incentives, such as multiyear periods of market exclusivity.
In October, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Alexion’s second major drug Strensiq, an injectable treatment for an extremely rare, often deadly metabolic disorder. Strensiq had $33 million in sales in the latest quarter.
In December, the FDA approved Kanuma as a treatment for a rare but deadly disease caused by an enzyme deficiency. It posted $2.5 million in sales.
The company said it expects revenue this year to come in at the low end of its previously issued guidance range of $3.05 billion and $3.1 billion. It also expects earnings at the low end of the prior profit forecast of $5 to $5.20.
Shares were unchanged in premarket trading.
Source : wsj.com