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What: Shares of Onyx Pharmaceuticals (UNKNOWN: ONXX.DL ) , a cancer-focused biopharmaceutical company, shot higher by as much as 10% after the company reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results.
So what: For the quarter, Onyx reported revenue of $127.9 million and a loss of $0.36 per share. Revenue was down 46% year-over-year; however, the year-ago period included revenue from the sale of its royalty rights to Nexavar in Japan for $160 million. Wall Street had been projecting that Onyx would lose $0.76 per share. Newly approved second-line multiple myeloma treatment Kyprolis saw sales grow to $45.3 million for the quarter, or 242% higher than the sequential third quarter.
Now what: Things are going really well for Onyx Pharmaceuticals. Royalties from its liver and kidney cancer drug, Nexavar, grew 2.6% for the full year, excluding Japan, and Kyprolis is off to what I consider a fantastic start. There's a little concern for Kyprolis now that Celgene's (NASDAQ: CELG ) Pomalyst is also approved as a second-line treatment for multiple myeloma, but I'm more of the opinion that with so few options existing beyond the initial multiple myeloma treatments, that the market will expand to more than accommodate sales growth for both drugs.
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