Alexion seals $150 million agreement in France

Alexion says a breakthrough in reimbursement talks in France means it can raise its forecasts for overall sales and profits in 2014.

The company has reached an agreement with the French government for reimbursing its drug Soliris, a very high cost treatment for two rare conditions.

The deal covers the whole of 2014, as well as some shipments made before 1 January, and adds $150 million to the firm’s global sales for this year.

This is forecast to lift profits by 18% for the full year, illustrating Soliris’ potential to keep building profits for the firm.

Soliris is licensed to treat two distinct groups of patients – those with atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), and in patients with paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria (PNH). The new deal in France allows the drug to be prescribed for patients who have either aHUS, or who have PNH and aHUS.

Alexion will record around $88 million of additional net product sales related to reimbursement for sales in prior years in the first quarter, and add this to its newly revised sales and profit forecasts for the remainder of 2014.

The Company is raising its 2014 revenue guidance from the previous range of $2.000 to $2.020 billion to a new higher range of $2.150 to $2.170 billion. This includes the $88 million in net product sales related to years prior to 2014 to be recorded in Q1 2014.

2014 non-GAAP EPS guidance is being increased from $3.70 to $3.80 to the higher range of $4.37 to $4.47, which includes 37 cents attributable to net product sales related to years prior to 2014 to be recorded in Q1 2014.

Soliris earned $1.55 billion in global sales last year, and is expected to reach $3.4 billion by 2018.

Alexion are aiming to maintain the growth trajectory of Soliris with further indications. The drug is being studied in no fewer than five new indications, covering indications in kidney transplant, neurology and nephrology.

Alexion has a further four drugs in clinical development, all targeting debilitating and often life-threatening rare diseases.

France versus the UK

The good news from France is in contrast to developments across the Channel in the UK, where questions about the pricing of Soliris continue to delay its final approval for reimbursement.

The cost and clinical effectiveness watchdog NICE announced last week that it was refusing to recommend the drug until Alexion answers questions about Soliris’ pricing.

Links

Alexion must ‘explain’ high cost of Soliris, says NICE

 

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