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Financial round-up: how has pharma fared in 2014?

Published on 09/02/15 at 09:24am
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A select look at the latest figures and performance from some of the industry’s big players:

Merck

Quarter four 2014 sales 

Sales of $9.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014, a decrease of 4% at constant exchange rate (CER), reflecting approximately $200 million of lower sales from patent expiries and product divestitures. Poor sales of Zetia (ezetimibe), Vytorin (ezetimibe/simvastatin), Victrelis (boceprevir), Pegintron (peginterferon alfa-2b) and Remicade (infliximab) also contributed to the decline.

Top performers

Januvia (sitagliptin) and Janumet (sitagliptin and metformin), which recorded $1.7 billion in sales, up 6% at CER compared to the fourth quarter of 2013. The launch of Keytruda (pembrolizumab) notched sales of $50 million in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Full-year 2014 sales

Down 2% at CER to $36 billion.

2015 outlook

Merck is planning for full-year 2015 revenues to be between $38.3 billion and $39.8 billion, including approximately $1 billion of net lost sales from acquisitions and divestitures.

What do they say?

Merck chief executive Kenneth Frazier says the company will focus on innovation and partnerships to drive ‘sustainable, long-term growth’. “Our results in 2014 demonstrate the significant progress we’ve made in evolving the company to better serve health care markets around the world. As we look forward to 2015 and beyond, we will continue to focus our resources on those internal and external opportunities that can generate the most value for patients, customers and shareholders.”

 

Bristol Myers-Squibb

Quarter four 2014 sales

Bristol-Myers Squibb posted fourth quarter 2014 revenues of $4.3 billion, a decrease of 4% compared to the same period a year before. Excluding the divested diabetes alliance (with AstraZeneca) global revenues increased by 9% (when adjusted for the impact foreign exchange). 

Top performers

Eliquis (apixaban), which grew by $210 million, Yervoy (ipilimumab), which grew 41%, Orencia (abatacept), which grew 12%, and Sprycel (dasatinib), which grew 9%. Daklinza (daclatasvir) and Sunvepra (asunaprevir) had combined sales of $207 million.

Full-year 2014 sales

Total revenues fell to $15.9 billion, an increase of 3 per cent.

2015 outlook

BMS’ financial guidance for 2015 assumes worldwide revenues between $14.4 and $15 billion. There is also optimism about the accelerated regulatory approval of Opdivo in the US, after positive results of a Phase III trial in squamous cell non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). 

What do they say?

BMS chief executive Lamberto Andreotti says: “We had an excellent fourth quarter to close a strong year financially and operationally, and made significant progress in our I-O pipeline with the approval of Opdivo in the US for patients with advanced melanoma. Our performance in 2014 across brands and geographies, continued innovation and productivity in R&D and investments in business development opportunities reflect the strength and execution of our biopharma strategy, and positions us well for 2015.”

 

Novo Nordisk

Quarter four 2014 sales

Compared to the fourth quarter of 2013, sales grew (in US dollars) by 13% to $4.1 billion. Overall sales of diabetes products, the company’s key therapeutic area, also rose by 13% to $3.2 billion. 

Top performer

Levemir (insulin detemir) and Victoza (liraglutide). Sales of Victoza increased by 24% to $679 million in the last quarter of 2014.

Full-year 2014 sales

Sales increased by 8% in local currencies and by 6% in Danish kroner to 88.8 billion ($13.5 billion). Novo Nordisk is the world leader in diabetes care and now holds a global value market share of 27% compared to 28% at the same time last year.

2015 outlook

For 2015, sales growth is expected to be 6-9%, with the global roll-out of Tresiba (insulin degludec). In Japan, Tresiba has taken 26% of the basal insulin market since its launch in March 2013. In December 2014, the FDA approved Saxenda (liraglutide) as the first drug in its class for the treatment of obesity, and the EMA followed up with a green light for the same indication by the EMA in January. Novo Nordisk expects to launch it in several European markets during 2015 and 2016.

What do they say?

Lars Rebien Sørensen, president and chief executive says: "We are pleased with Novo Nordisk's financial performance in 2014; a more challenging year than usual. Levemir and Victoza drove most of our sales growth, and our new long-acting insulin Tresiba continues to perform well. 2015 will be an important year for us with the first launches of Saxenda and Xultophy (insulin degludec/liraglutide) as well as significant results from our late-stage development portfolio."

 

Lundbeck

Quarter four 2014 sales

Revenue down to 3.2 billion Danish Kroner (£324 million) from 3.6 billion DKK (£360m). 

Top performer

Antidepressant Cipralex (escitalopram oxalate) which registered the equivalent of £80 million in sales in the last quarter of 2014 – but this was down from £142m in the same period in 2013. 

Full-year 2014 sales

Down DKK 1.8 billion (£178m) year-on-year. 

2015 outlook

Antidepressant Brintellix (vortioxetine) was launched in 11 additional countries in 2014 – and has entered a pivotal program for treatment of adult patients with ADHD. There is also optimism about the US launch of brexpiprazole, a new treatment for depression and schizophrenia, The company’s financial guidance for 2015 in constant exchange rates is DKK 13.2-13.7 billion (£1.3 billion). 

What do they say?

Lundbeck’s chairman Håkan Björklund said: “We are moving through a challenging period of patent expirations to a period of product launches. 2014 has been a successful year for Lundbeck with 39 launches across the world. We will continue to launch new products and in 2015 we potentially have more than 50 launches scheduled. We stay the course and in 2015 I also look forward to making brexpiprazole available in the US.”

And the rest

Click each company here to see more on their performance too: Sanofi, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Gilead, Roche, Novartis, J&J and Pfizer.

Lilian Anekwe

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