Wyeth cruised to a 9% increase in revenues in the second quarter, as strong sales of biologics and vaccines offset a less than stellar performance by antidepressant Effexor, now starting to show its age.
Revenues rose 9% to $5.2 billion, driven by Enbrel (etanercept) for rheumatoid arthritis and other immunological disorders, partnered with Amgen, and pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar. Enbrel added $370 million to the firm’s coffers, a rise of 36% over the second quarter of 2005 and mirroring the strong performance of the drug in North America (see Amgen results article).
Meanwhile, Prevnar rocketed 60% to $518 million for the quarter, a performance helped in large part by the UK’s decision to include the vaccine in its routine childhood immunisation programme.
Net income rose 9% to $1.06 billion, or 78 cents a share, and on the back of this performance Wyeth is raising its 2006 earnings forecasts from $2.97 to at least $3.07 a share.
Effexor (venlafaxine), still Wyeth’s most important product by a wide margin, managed a 3% gain to $918 million, but is slowing down and will face generic competition from Teva later this year. Gastrointestinal drug Protonix (pantoprazole), also under the threat of generic competition, slipped back by the same margin to $441 million.
Turning to its pipeline developments, Wyeth said it was cheered by the recent European approval of Tygacil (tigecycline), which was officially launched in the UK yesterday, and the marketing submissions for bazedoxifene for osteoporosis and Effexor follow-up desvenlafaxine succinate.
It also pointed to positive Phase III results for Torisel (temsirolimus), its new renal cancer treatment, and the expected approval for new contraceptive Lybrel (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol) in 2007.