Surge In Sales Of Cancer Drug And Heart Medicine Prompts Pfizer To Raise 2019 Forecast

An increase in the sale of cancer drug Ibrance as well as a great launch for its new heart medicine Vyndaqel propelled the third quarter profits for Pfizer Inc which beats estimates of analysts after the company announced its earnings on Tuesday. The strong third quarter performance prompted the company, the largest drugmaker of the United States, to increase its forecast for earnings for the entire year of 2019.

Compared to its earlier forecast of $2.76 to $2.86 earnings per share, the company increased its 2019 adjusted earnings forecast to $2.94 to $3.00 per share. This drove a 3.6 per ce tin the share price of the company. According to Refinitiv IBES, analysts on average were expecting $2.82 earnings per share.

In comparison to an earlier view of low-to-mid single digits, the company also increased its revenue growth forecast for 2019 for its Upjohn unit in China to “mid-to-high single digits”, announced Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Bourla, on a conference call. The company is however planning to spin off that business

A spin off created by the combination of generic drugmaker Mylan NV, and its Upjohn unit, which sells off-patent branded drugs, was announced by the New York-based drugmaker in July this year. This separation would give more opportunity to the company to concentrate on bettering those businesses that are more profitable.

Pfizer has already shifted the headquarters of Upjohn to China and this will allow Mylan to better leverage and create a strong base in Asia. China is a very important market for the older branded drugs with high name recognition such as Lipitor. The news resulted in the shares of Mylan rising by 2.8% to $19.51.

He envisions Pfizer as a “smaller, science-based company” after it closes the Mylan deal which is expected to get over next year, Bourla said.

There was a 25 per cent rise in the sales of breast cancer drug Ibrance to generate revenues of $1.28 billion. The company also reported a 39 per cent increase in the sale of its rheumatoid arthritis drug Xeljanz to touch revenues of $599 million. The performance of Vyndaqel out of the gate was also a surprise for analysts.

Sales of $156 million, nearly double the Wall Street estimate of $82 million was generated by the sale of the drug which chemically is known as tafamidis and was approved in May.

“Ibrance is back to strong growth after a period of slowing,” said UBS analyst Navin Jacob, adding that “the Vyndaqel number in particular is impressive.”

Here has been criticism of the high cost of Vyndaqel because it is priced at $225,000 per year. The drug would become the one of the most costly cardiovascular treatments ever, said experts affiliated with Boston-based Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER).

Jacob said that the third quarter profits came as a relief for Pfizer because since the announcement of the deal with Mylan, there has been poor investor sentiment on Pfizer.

(Adapted from

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