It's earnings season, and this morning MedImmune
While MedImmune has one of the top-selling biologic drugs in the industry, the growth in revenues and earnings is a bit sluggish for what many biotech investors are looking for. Temporary lulls in growth for large biotechs are to be expected as existing products mature and new products complete development. The big question is when can we expect robust growth to resume?
MedImmune has a handful of products in late-stage development that could make meaningful contributions to earnings in the coming years. Along with FluMist, MedImmune also has interesting programs in Numax and Vitaxin.
Numax is the follow-up product that will replace Synagis, and back in April I wrote about why this was important in Bargain Hunting in Big Biotech. This clinical program seems to be on track, and the phase 3 trial is expected to start next year. MedImmune expects the drug to be on the market by the start of the 2008 RSV season, and that timeline certainly seems reasonable.
Vitaxin is in numerous early stage trials for metastatic melanoma, rheumatoid arthritis, prostate cancer, and psoriasis. Data from all of those trials, except prostate cancer, will be released before year's end. I view this data as an important event that will provide some visibility on the future of what could be a major drug for MedImmune. If the data is positive, MedImmune stated that a pivotal trial will start next year.
My expectation is that growth in revenues and earnings at MedImmune will be modest for the next few years. I think that it is a solid company that is building the foundation for the next stage of robust growth, which should occur between 2008 and 2010. Drug development is a lengthy process, so it will take some patience to wait for these new drugs to reach the market.
Fool contributor Charly Travers does not own shares of any company mentioned in this article.