Oncology Drug Growth Fuels Celgene's Q1 Profit Higher by 22%

Cancer-focused biopharmaceutical behemoth Celgene (NASDAQ: CELG  ) today reported steady growth in many of its key products and a higher adjusted profit in the first quarter despite a clear-cut rise in expenses.

For the quarter, Celgene delivered total revenue of $1.73 billion and net product sales of $1.71 billion, an increase of 18% and 19%, respectively. The main growth driver, as usual, was mantle cell lymphoma drug Revlimid whose sales increased 14% to $1.14 billion and accounted for 67% of Celgene's total quarterly product sales.

Beyond Revlimid, Abraxane sales soared 51% to $185 million, benefiting from its fairly recent treatment indication expansion into pancreatic cancer in the U.S. and Europe. Pomalyst/Imnovid sales were also impressive, totaling $136 million during the quarter.

If there was one blemish it was the introduction of generic competition to Vidaza in the U.S. where sales of the drug decreased 83% to just $14 million. Overseas, Vidaza sales increased 14% to $134 million.

From an earnings perspective, Celgene reported a 19% increase in net income to $705 million with adjusted EPS climbing 22% to $1.67. Gains were driven by strong oncology product sales, but were also partially offset by a 58% increase in research and development costs tied to select pipeline products entering later-stage studies, as well as a 34% rise in selling, general and administrative costs related to drug launch activities in the U.S. and abroad.

Looking ahead, Celgene reaffirmed its full-year forecast which calls for revenue of $7.5 billion, including Revlimid sales of $4.9 billion-$5 billion (representing 16% year-over-year growth at the midpoint), Abraxane sales of $850 million-$900 million (35% year-over-year growth at the midpoint), and adjusted EPS of $7-$7.20. 

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Sean Williams

A Fool since 2010, and a graduate from UC San Diego with a B.A. in Economics, Sean specializes in the healthcare sector and in investment planning topics. You'll usually find him writing about Obamacare, marijuana, developing drugs, diagnostics, and medical devices, Social Security, taxes, or any number of other macroeconomic issues.

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9/4/2015 3:59 PM
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