Eyetech Pharmaceuticals’ share price was boosted to the tune of 11% during trading on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange yesterday after the company said it was raising its revenue outlook for its ophthalmic drug, Macugen (pegaptanib), on the back of “continued growth in new accounts combined with larger and more frequent re-orders.”
Macugen, which is approved for the treatment of all types of neovascular age-related macular degeneration – a leading cause of blindness – is now expected to bring in net revenues of between $175 and $190 million dollars for the full-year to December 2005, up from previous estimates of between $135 and $150 million. The company plans to provide a full financial update during its second quarter earnings call in late July.
Eyetech and partner, Pfizer, launched Macugen in the US in January – one month after winning US Food and Drug Administration clearance [[20/12/04f]]. AMD – an eye disease associated with aging that destroys central vision – is the leading cause of irreversible severe vision loss in patients older than 50 years of age in developed countries. Macugen specifically targets vascular endothelial growth factor, a protein that acts as a signal in triggering the abnormal blood vessel growth and leakage – the hallmark of neovascular AMD. The firmss say that it is the first therapy indicated for the treatment of all types of neovascular AMD, regardless of lesion subtype or size.