May 4, 2018 / 12:00 PM / 3 months ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 2-Celgene tops estimates on higher demand for cancer drug Revlimid

(Corrects paragraph 10 to say “without dilution from the acquisition of Juno” instead of “including gains from the acquisition of Juno” and paragraph 11 to say “including dilution from Juno” instead of “excluding Juno’s impact”.)

* Revlimid, Otezla sales beat estimates

* To resubmit ozanimod marketing application earlier than expected

* Shares up 1.7 percent before the bell

By Akankshita Mukhopadhyay

May 4 (Reuters) - Celgene Corp topped Wall Street estimates for quarterly profit on Friday and said it expects 2018 revenue at the high end of its forecast, driven by demand for blockbuster myeloma drug Revlimid as well as psoriasis treatment Otezla.

The U.S. biotechnology company also said it would re-submit an application to U.S regulators for the approval of its multiple sclerosis drug, ozanimod, in the first quarter of 2019, sooner than analysts had expected.

While Revlimid has driven much of Celgene’s growth in recent years, analysts view ozanimod as a key drug that can help the company’s efforts to lower its reliance on Revlimid.

Those efforts include Celgene’s purchase earlier this year of Juno Therapeutics and Impact Biomedicines, two developers of cancer treatments.

Analysts had expected a delay in ozanimod securing U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval after the agency rejected an initial application due to insufficient data in February.

The timing of the second application for ozanimod was “good enough” and earlier than expected, considering fears it would be delayed until 2020, Jefferies analyst Michael Yee said.

Revlimid’s sales rose about 19 percent to $2.23 billion in the first quarter, above analysts’ estimates of $2.21 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, while sales of Otezla surged 46 percent and also topped expectations.

Celgene now expects 2018 revenue at the high end of its $14.4 billion to $14.8 billion forecast.

Shares of Celgene rose 1.7 percent in premarket trading on Friday.

The company expects adjusted earnings for 2018 of about $8.95 per share, without dilution from the acquisition of Juno.

Including dilution from Juno, Celgene expects earnings of about $8.45 per share. Its previous forecast was a range of $8.70 to $8.90 per share.

Net income fell 9 percent to $846 million. Excluding one-time items, Celgene earned $2.05 per share in the first quarter ended March 31, while analysts were expecting $1.96 per share.

Revenue rose 19.4 percent to $3.54 billion, topping estimates of $3.46 billion. (Reporting by Akankshita Mukhopadhyay in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Sai Sachin Ravikumar)

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