Actelion denies reports of takeover
- Actelion CEO Jean-Paul Clozel refuted reports the large European biotech is being pursued by large pharma companies looking to add its pulmonary drugs to their portfolios, in comments reported by Bloomberg.
- In the first quarter, Actelion reported 8% higher core operating income and raised its 2016 guidance. Recently approved Uptravi (selexipag), an orally active second-line treatment for patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), beat expectations with Q1 sales of 35 million Swiss Francs for the first quarter.
- Actelion's other PAH drug, Opsumit (macitentan), also performed well, with a revenue increase of 88% from a year ago, to 178 million francs.
Tracleer, Actelion's mainline drug for PAH, continues to be the biggest revenue generator, with sales of 290 million Swiss francs. However, it is facing increasing generic competition since losing patent protection last November. The goal is to shore up the franchise by continuing to support sales and marketing the newer Uptravi and Opsumit. So far, the plan seems to be working.
Actelion has raised its financial expectations for the year, anticipating that its core operating income will grow at high single-digit rates. First-quarter income came in at 249 million Swiss francs, as measured by non-GAAP "core" performance.
Clozel emphasized to Bloomberg that the best path to creating shareholder value is by remaining indpendent. In fact, Actelion is on the hunt for appropriate deals after failing in its quest to acquire ZS Pharma last November, when AstraZeneca sealed the deal for $2.7 billion.