Alkermes reports 30% rise in sales of key drug

Company pulls full-year guidance on coronavirus disruption to healthcare systems

Irish drug company Alkermes has reported quarterly results ahead of forecasts but has pulled its guidance for the full year amid the continuing uncertainty about the impact of Covid-19.

Alkermes, which specialises in longer-term treatments for conditions affecting the central nervous system, reported a 30 per cent increase in core product sales.

"Our first quarter results were slightly ahead of expectations," said chief financial officer James Frates, "reflecting 30 per cent year-over-year growth in net sales of our proprietary products, and continued focus on advancing our pipeline of novel oncology and neuroscience candidates."

But he said the company was pulling previously announced guidance for the full year.


“Due to the uncertain duration and extent of Covid-19 disruptions to the healthcare system, including patient access to treatment, we cannot reliably estimate the future impact that Covid-19 may have on our business,” he said.

Chief executive Richard Pops said the company "remained focused on growing sales of Vivitrol [a monthly injectible therapy to manage alcohol or opioid dependence] and Aristada [a schizophrenia drug], advancing our research and development activities, and maintaining disciplined expense management.

“People living with serious mental illness and addiction have an ongoing need for their medicines and care, yet many are facing challenges in accessing their caregivers and the healthcare system,” said Mr Pops, adding that Alkermes had taken steps to ensure it continues to be able to provide “uninterrupted supply of the medicines we manufacture”.

More important

Total sales in the quarter to March 31st were $246.2 million (€227 million), up from $223.1 a year ago. Within that, sales of Vivitrol and Aristada, jumped 30 per cent to $129.7 million from $99.5 million in the year ago period.

Vivitrol is currently the more important drug in terms of sales for Alkermes but Aristada is recording more substantial growth.

The balance of revenue came from manufacturing and royalties, which were again ahead of last year.

Overall, the business reported a loss of $38.7 million for the quarter, down form $96 million in the first quarter of last year.

Dominic Coyle

Dominic Coyle

Dominic Coyle is Deputy Business Editor of The Irish Times