Wyeth's Earnings Rise Based on Strong Enbrel, Prevnar Sales
Sales of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals' arthritis drug Enbrel jumped sharply during the first quarter, driven largely by increased revenues in Europe, where the drug was approved for a new indication last fall.
Enbrel (etanercept) generated first-quarter net revenue of $237 million outside North America, an increase of 75 percent over the comparable period of 2004, the company said. Enbrel's international growth was bolstered by increased sales in the European Union, where the European Medicines Agency approved the drug as a treatment for psoriasis last September.
Enbrel also turned in a strong performance in the U.S., where new and total prescriptions for the four-week period ended April 1 increased 32 percent and 28 percent, respectively, over the corresponding period in the prior year, Wyeth said. The FDA's approval in April of the drug's indication to treat psoriasis boosted U.S. prescriptions, the company said.
Wyeth's bottom line also received a boost from its pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar (diphtheria CRM protein), which saw its first-quarter net revenue rise to $391 million, more than double what it generated in the same period last year. Prevnar's growth was attributed to the resolution of manufacturing issues that limited production of the vaccine last year.