Alkermes raises full year forecasts as it prepares new drug launch

Company gears up for new schizophrenia drug Aristada as opioid/alcohol therapy Vivitrol beats expectations

Alkermes president Shane Cooke. Photograph: Kate Geraghty/ The Irish Times

Alkermes president Shane Cooke. Photograph: Kate Geraghty/ The Irish Times


Alkermes, the Irish drug company specialising in drugs for conditions affecting the central nervous system has upgraded its forecasts for the full year after reporting better than expected numbers for the second quarter.

The company also announced that its new once-monthly injectable treatment for schizophrenia would be marketed as Aristada. Alkermes is preparing for a market launch of the drug as the deadline for the FDA to decide on approving it looms.

The company reported sales of $151.4 million compared to average analyst projections of around $142 million. The figure is down on last year but it has since sold a plant which produced sales of $21.1 million.

During the period, losses came to $13.6 million or nine US cent a share – a penny better than expected,

Alkermes now expects total revenues to range from $610 to $640 million in 2015, up from the previous range of $600-$630 million. Where it had previously pencilled in a projected full year loss of between $55 and $75 million, it has now pared that figure back to a range of $47-$67 million.

It said the main driver for the upgrade was accelerating sale s of its injectable therapy for opioid and/or alcohol dependence, Vivitrol. Sales of Vivitrol jumped 72 per cent to $37.2 million in the second quarter from the year ago period.

Alkermes also disclosed that company officers, including company president Shane Cooke had sold stock. Mr Cooke sold 18,000 shares last week at an average price of $70.05 for a total sum of $1.26 million.