- With the bulk of its revenues coming from blockbuster drug Revlimid (lenalidomide), Celgene is doubling down on expanding its pipeline, particularly in oncology and autoimmune diseases.
- Celgene anticipates conducting 19 Phase 3 trials, as well as pivotal trials for nine of its new molecules, over the next two years, the company said during a fourth quarter earnings call on Thursday. Those investigational medicines target a range of therapeutic areas, from multiple sclerosis (MS) and lupus to lymphoma and bone marrow disease.
- The call came just a couple hours after the big biotech announced its acquisition of Delinia Inc. Celgene dropped $300 million upfront for Delinia, allowing it to add the target's preclinical drug aimed at regulating the immune system, DEL106, to its growing autoimmune pipeline. The company did not disclose additional information about the transaction during the call.
Having a product as successful as Revlimid is any drugmaker's dream. Celgene's problem, though, is that it relies on the drug for more than half of its total revenue. Revlimid brought in $1.81 billion and $6.97 billion during the fourth quarter and 2016 fiscal year, respectively, which in both cases was about 60% of net revenues.
As such, Celgene spent much of the Jan. 26 earnings call spelling out its plans for clinical and portfolio development. Of particular interest for investors are enasidenib, a blood cancer drug that was submitted for Food and Drug Administration approval in 2016, and ozanimod, an MS drug in a Phase 3 trial that recently completed enrollment. The decision for enasidenib is expected during the second half of 2017, Celgene said.
The company also discussed ways to make its branded products outside of Revlimid more profitable. It's banking on a strong performance for psoriasis drug Otezla (apremilast) in Japan, where it was recently approved and where no new oral treatment for the disease has sprouted up in decades, and signaling optimism for cancer drug Abraxane (paclitaxel). The latter drug has had lackluster returns, but Celgene attributed part of that to European currency issues.
In addition, Celgene addressed President Donald Trump. While it has not had any direct conversations with Trump, the company said it had a positive outlook on the new administration.
"We're very, very optimistic that the Trump administration is wanting to and will focus on preserving and enhancing the competitive marketplace as a way to balance value and the economics of healthcare in general," the company said during the call.