Celgene Corp has posted a healthy set of financials for the first quarter despite a 4.1% decline in net income to $410.2 million, as product sales increased 15% to $1.43 billion.

The slip in profits was due principally to launch activities for its recently-approved multiple myeloma (MM) drug Pomalyst (pomalidomide) and multiple myeloma and getting a new indication for breast cancer drug Abraxane (nanoparticle albumin-bound -'nab' - paclitaxel)) for the first-line treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Adjusted net income increased 22% to $592 million.

Sales growth was driven by the firm’s MM and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) drug Revlimid (lenalidomide), which generated just over $1.00 billion, up 16%. Turnover of Vidaza (azacitidine), which is approved for the treatment of MDS and acute myeloid leukaemia, jumped 10% to $204 million.

Abraxane brought in $123 million, up 18%, although Thalomid (thalidomide), which is used to treat newly-diagnosed MM as well as erythema nodosum leprosum, an inflammatory complication of leprosy, decreased 26% to $57 million. Sales of Pomalyst, which was approved in the USA in February, reached $29 million.

Celgene raised its net income estimate for 2013 to $5.55-$5.65 per share (excluding one-time costs) from $5.50-$5.60. It affirmed sales guidance for the full year of $6.00 billion, which would represent an 11% rise,  and $4.10-4.20 billion of that should come from Revlimid.

Chief executive Bob Hugin said the  first quarter "delivered remarkable achievements as the result of our clinical, regulatory and commercial efforts". He added that "we are well-positioned to achieve our goals for 2013 and accelerate our next phase of growth".