July 25--Alexion Pharmaceuticals, biotech, Cheshire, second quarter, Soliris, earnings
Alexion Pharmaceuticals, the highly successful biotech company headquartered in Cheshire, grew profits by more than $70 million in the second quarter of 2014 compared with the same period a year earlier, as more patients start on Soliris, which is then needed for the rest of their lives.
The profit growth was 38 percent.
Soliris, currently approved to treat two ultra-rare, life-threatening diseases, is reportedly one of the most expensive drugs on the market. A year's supply costs more than $400,000.
Alexion, which reported its second quarter earnings Thursday, said it is aiming for up to seven more drug launches through 2018. Four of those are also for Soliris. The company is sponsoring trials to see if the drug is effective for kidney transplant rejections, myasthenia gravis and neuromyelitis optica.
Alexion spent $92.6 million on research and development during the quarter, and had $512.5 million in drug sales. That was up 38 percent from a year earlier, but down 9.6 percent from the first quarter of the year.
Alexion is one of the state's First Five businesses and plans to lease space in a new building in New Haven with the state support. The package includes a $6 million grant from the state, a subsidized $20 million loan that will be made into a gift if Alexion has 650 workers in Connecticut by 2017 and tax credits that could be worth as much as $25 million.
Earnings per share at Alexion were 83 cents, up from 48 cents a year earlier. Although that beat estimates, the stock price fell Thursday on the news, from $173.08 to $167.27, a fall of 2.9 percent.
Alexion had previously projected its revenue for 2014 would be between $2.15 billion and $2.17 billion, and now says it expects to sell $2.18 to $2.2 billion in Soliris this year.
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