BALTIMORE -- Sales of Immunex Corp.'s Leukine GM-CSFrebounded in April after a dramatic decline in the first quarter,Stephen Duzan, chairman and chief executive, said onWednesday.
Duzan said sales had returned to the levels they were at beforeHoechst-Roussel Pharmaceuticals Inc. allegedly begandistributing large quantities of free samples of the drug toImmunex's hospital customers. First-quarter sales of the bloodcell stimulant fell to $3.4 million after reaching $9.7 million inthe fourth quarter of 1991.
Although Immunex sued its marketing partner in April,alleging breach of contract, business interference and unfaircompetition, Duzan said he does not know whether the suitcaused a halt to the alleged giveaway.
Immunex stock (NASDAQ:IMNX) gained 38 cents to $29.13.
Despite the lower revenues, Duzan told the 17th Annual Alex.Brown & Sons Health Care Seminar that Immunex will make"no cutback in R&D." Immunex has $135 million in cash, and"we expect to finish this year with well over $100 million incash," he said.
Duzan said the company will file by year-end for a broaderlabel indication for Leukine to treat immunosuppression causedby chemotherapy.
The Seattle company plans to begin Phase III trials by the endof this year of PIXY321, its second-generation blood cell growthfactor, for neutropenia and thrombocytopenia caused bychemotherapy and/or radiation, he said.
Immunex has until Jan. 31, 1993, to decide whether to acquireits Receptech Corp. R&D spinoff, which Immunex created in1989 to fund receptor development. If the decision had to bemade today, Duzan said, Immunex would acquire the unit.Receptech shares (NASDAQ:RECP) fell $1 to $19.
From the Receptech program, Immunex has ongoing Phase Iclinical trials for its soluble IL-1 receptor for treatment ofrheumatoid arthritis and allergy and will begin Phase I trialsby the middle of this year for graft-vs.-host disease, chronicmyelogenous leukemia and septic shock.
The Seattle company will file later this month to begin trials forits soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor Fc fusion protein inhealthy patients challenged with the LPS bacteria that causesseptic shock/sepsis syndrome.
-- Kris Herbst BioWorld Washington Bureau
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