Celgene Quarterly Profit Falls on High Research Expenses

Celgene Corp., maker of the cancer drug Revlimid, said first-quarter earnings fell 27 percent on higher costs for research and development.

Net income fell 27 percent to $279.7 million, or 66 cents a share, from $384.9 million, or 89 cents, a year earlier, the Summit, New Jersey-based company said in a statement today. Earnings excluding one-time items were $1.67 a share, beating by 2 cents the average of 27 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Expenses for R&D increased 8.5 percent to $358 million in the quarter, due to “an increase in clinical trial activity for pipeline assets,” Celgene said in the statement. Trials are continuing for lung cancer drug Abraxane and psoriatic arthritis treatment Otezla.

Revenue increased 18 percent to $1.73 billion, as sales of Revlimid, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in June 2013 for use in mantle cell lymphoma, gained 14 percent to $1.14 billion. Revlimid sales missed analysts’ average estimate of $1.17 billion. Celgene is now submitting Revlimid for treatment of newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients in the U.S. and in Europe, the drugmaker said today.

Celgene also said today it bought a late-stage product for Crohn’s disease from Nogra Pharma Limited, a closely-held pharmaceutical company based in Dublin, Ireland. Nogra will receive an upfront payment of $710 million. Celgene plans to initiate a final-stage registration program for Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disorder, by the end of the year, according to the statement.

Celgene fell 2.5 percent to close at $141.25 in New York. The company has gained 19 percent in the past 12 months.