Second-quarter earnings reports, flowing fast in the last days of July, delivered a bevy of contrasting results, from A to V.
Stymied by the pandemic, Aimmune Therapeutics Inc. booked exactly zero net sales during the quarter for its expected blockbuster peanut allergy treatment, Palforzia. Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Seattle Genetics Inc. beat top-line expectations, driven primarily by strong sales of new products. And Gilead Sciences Inc. managed to capture both a bit of the bad and the good, missing consensus estimates for the quarter, but projecting better than previously forecast 2020 sales due to expectations around its antiviral drug, remdesivir.
Brisbane, Calif.-based Aimmune said that allergists are working through a backlog of patients in the U.S. as various regions of the country reopen. But with allergy practices focusing "limited resources on existing patients/conditions vs. elective Palforzia starts," according to RBC Capital Markets analyst Kennen MacKay, both he and other company-watchers reduced their expectations for the product's near-term performance. An EMA review of Palforzia is ongoing and, according to the company, remains on track with a target action date in the fourth quarter.
For the second quarter, Aimmune's net loss was $69.2 million, not far from its $62.9 million loss in the comparable period of 2019. Its cash, cash equivalents and investments totaled $318.1 million at June 30. Company shares (NASDAQ:AIMT) fell 5.9% on July 31 to $13.21.
Gilead's results were more complex. Though bolstered in its full-year outlook by the pandemic, the broader story of its second quarter "left a lot to be desired with a top and bottom-line miss that included disappointing sales for key HIV/PrEP products Biktarvy and Descovy," J.P. Morgan analyst Cory Kasimov said.
Gilead's total product sales, accounting for the vast majority of its revenue, decreased 10% to $5.1 billion for the second quarter vs. $5.6 billion for the same period in 2019. The decreases were primarily driven by lower sales volume of chronic hepatitis C products due to COVID-19, which led to fewer health care provider visits and screenings, the company said.
The Foster City, Calif.-based company, which had donated and delivered 1.5 million doses of remdesivir by the end of June, also said it has moved on to set the pricing for the drug, branded as Veklury, at $390 per vial for governments of developed countries and $520 per vial for U.S. private insurance companies and others. With expectations it will sell many more treatment courses in the U.S. and Europe in the months ahead, the company revised its full-year 2020 sales guidance, raising it to a range of $23 billion to $25 billion from a previous range of $21.8 billion to $22 billion.
Gilead's shares (NASDAQ:GILD) fell 3.9% on July 31 to $69.53.
Second-quarter earnings for Bothell, Wash.-based Seattle Genetics also drew attention following its Thursday afternoon report of record product sales. The company's cancer medicines Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin), Padcev (enfortumab vedotin-ejfv) and Tukysa (tucatinib) all contributed to the $240.5 million figure, besting the second-quarter 2019 net product sales of $159 million.
SVB Leerink analyst Andrew Berens said newly launched Padcev and Tukysa revenues exceeded consensus expectations by 33% and 147%, respectively. Total revenues are on track to exceed $1 billion in 2020, said Seattle Genetics President and CEO Clay Siegall.
The company's strong quarter helped it narrow its losses, significantly beating Refinitiv IBES consensus expectations for a 63-cent-per-share loss. Rising above the consensus, the company instead reported a second-quarter net loss of $21.2 million, or 12 cents per diluted share, vs. a Q2 2019 net loss of $79.2 million, or 49 cents per diluted share.
Seagen reported having $895.7 million in cash and investments as of June 30. Company shares (NASDAQ:SGEN) fell 2.8% to $166.27 on July 31.
Vertex, of Boston, also turned in a strong beat on Thursday, with second-quarter product revenues hitting $1.52 billion, driven in large part by uptake of the company's new cystic fibrosis (CF) drug, Trikafta (elexacaftor/tezacaftor/ivacaftor and ivacaftor). Managers revised upward the company's full-year 2020 CF product revenues guidance, lifting expectations for sales of between $5.7 billion and $5.9 billion vs. an earlier projection of $5.3 billion to $5.6 billion.
The company reported having $5.45 billion in cash at June 30. Shares (NASDAQ:VRTX) fell 2.6% to $272 on July 31.
‘In the context of COVID-19’
Alimera, which sells the diabetic macular edema drug Iluvien (fluocinolone acetonide intravitreal implant), said the second quarter was successful "in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, having delivered $10 million in revenue, decreasing only 8% versus the second quarter of 2019, despite limited access to patients." The earnings surprise, outstripping estimates of a hit, meant company shares (NASDAQ:ALIM) saw a slight gain, closing at $5.87, up 3 cents, on July 31.
San Diego-based Retrophin saw net product sales increased 8% to $48.4 million in the second quarter vs. $44.7 million for the same period in 2019. It said that the increase was attributable to growth across the company’s commercial products including the launch of Thiola EC (tiopronin), a delayed-release formulation of its kidney stone prevention medicine.
Retrophin's net loss for the second quarter was $26.1 million, or 58 cents per basic share, compared to a net loss of $38.7 million, or 92 cents per basic share for the same period in 2019. As of June 30, the company had cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities of $457.4 million. Company shares (NASDAQ:RTRX) fell 3.9% to $19.88 on July 31.
Ultragenyx, of Novato, Calif., was the only company of the bunch to see its shares (NASDAQ:RARE) rise, albeit by less than 1% to $78.16. For the second quarter, it reported $61.7 million in total revenue, primarily from Crysvita (burosumab). Its net income was $25.3 million, or 41 cents per diluted share, vs. a net loss for the second quarter of 2019 of $99.2 million, or $1.72 per share. The company's cash, cash equivalents and investments were $817.5 million as of June 30.
Further earnings reports were filed Friday by Abbvie Inc., Bluebird Bio Inc., Immunogen Inc., Glycomimetics Inc., Kaleido Biosciences Inc., Merck & Co. Inc., Unity Biotechnology Inc., VBI Vaccines Inc. and Vtv Therapeutics Inc. Monday will bring new reports from Allakos Inc., Arvinas Inc., Chemocentryx Inc., Durect Corp., Eidos Therapeutics Inc., Harpoon Therapeutics Inc., Heron Therapeutics Inc., Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc., Mirati Therapeutics Inc., Minerva Neuroscience Inc., Principia Biopharma Inc., Revance Therapeutics Inc. and Neurocrine Biosciences Inc.