Amarin reports 59% jump in sales for Vascepa drug
Irish biotech’s drug used to treat US patients with high levels of blood fats
Amarin chief executive John Thero. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times
Amarin, the Irish biotech that has developed a drug to help reduce very high blood fat levels, saw sales jump 59 per cent last year.
However, the company still reported losses of $86.4 million (€81.5 million) for 2016, up 25 per cent.
The company, whose drug Vascepa is still going through further trials that may yet see it available to a wider market, reported of sales of $130.1 million last year, up from $81.7 million in 2015. It is forecasting 2017 sales in the range of $155-$165 million.
Its gross profit margin also rose, moving from 66 per cent to 73 per cent – driven, the company said, by improvements in product related costs. The company said more than 100,000 patients were now using Vascepa but added that less than 5 per cent of people with high levels of triglycerides – blood fats that can cause cardiovascular disease – were availing of prescription therapy.
An equity funding and the issue of new debt to retire older borrowings and push out its repayment dates.
The company said it was cash-flow neutral over the last nine months of 2016 if you exclude the cost of interest charges, royalties payable, financing charges and development costs. It hopes to be cashflow positive in 2017 on the same basis.
The company said it would spending between $50 million and $60 million on development costs this year, most of it on the Reduce-IT trial in which the company hopes to show that its drug actively reduces the prospect of people suffering a cardiovascular incident.