Shares in ImClone were boosted 8% on the Nasdaq stock exchange yesterday despite unveiling a mixed bag of first quarter results, with lower revenues and net income. And, although earnings jumped ahead of analysts’ expectations, they still fell short of 2004 figures at $29 million dollars ($0.33 per share) versus $63 million ($0.76 per share) one year ago. 2004 benefited from a one-time payment from partner Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Total revenues for the first quarter of 2005 were $86 million as compared with $110 million for the like period 2004, hampered by a $43 million reduction in milestone payments and license fees. However, a plus point was its colon cancer drug Erbitux (cetuximab), which contributed $34 million in royalty revenues from partner Bristol-Myers Squibb compared to just $7 million last year. Overall sales for Erbitux were $87 million for B-MS during the three months.

ImClone first came to prominence with its then investigational drug Erbitux, but suffered a rapid fall from grace after it was investigated over clinical trial protocols for the drug and its chief executive was imprisoned for insider trading [[13/06/02a]]. However, it clambered out of the quagmire after US partner Bristol-Myers Squibb kept its weight behind Erbitux [[06/03/02a]] and German company Merck KGaA also lent its support, becoming the drug’s European partner.