[THE INVESTOR] Celltrion is expected to report strong earnings growth next year as sales of its medication Truxima, a biosimilar version of Roche’s blockbuster treatment Rituxan, is poised to go into full swing in Europe, a local securities firm said on Nov. 21.
Following approval by the European Commission in February, Truxima began selling in the UK and Germany in April. The Korean pharma firm got permission to sell all approved indications of its reference drug, including those for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis.
“Truxima is expected to lead (Celltrion’s) overall earnings growth next year as the drug will enter European markets in 2018 and is expecting US approval in the second quarter,” Lee Dal-mi, an analyst at SK Securities said.
The analyst forecast that the firm’s operating profit will increase 42.5 percent year over year to 750.1 billion won (US$683.21 million) in 2018 while revenue will expand 35.4 percent to 1.27 trillion won.
She took note that the drug’s price is more than twice that of Remsima, Celltrion’s first biosimilar referencing Johnson & Johnson’s Remicade. Launched in the main pharma markets like US and Europe and elsewhere, Remsima is the company’s main revenue driver.
Rituxan, also known as MabThera, racked up US$7.5 billion in global sales in 2016.
By Park Han-na (firstname.lastname@example.org)