HCV drugs Sovaldi and Olysio boost Q1 sales for AmeriSourceBergen

By Dan Stanton contact

- Last updated on GMT

Four hepatitis C treatments have been launched in the US over the past year, boosting revenues for distributor and wholesaler AmeriSourceBergen
Four hepatitis C treatments have been launched in the US over the past year, boosting revenues for distributor and wholesaler AmeriSourceBergen

Related tags: Hepatitis c

New hepatitis C drugs produced by Gilead, Janssen and AbbVie contributed to a first quarter spike in revenue for AmeriSourceBergen’s Pharmaceutical Distribution business.

For the first quarter of FY2015, the drug wholesale and logistics company reported sales of $33bn (€29bn) up 15% on the same period last 2014, though labour expense, delivery cost and depreciation of capital assets drove an operating loss of $88m.

While some of the revenue growth was due to deals such as the ten-year distribution deal​ with US pharmacy Wallgreens, management said the growth in sales of hepatitis C treatments was a large contributor.

“The hepatitis C drugs have been huge,”​ CEO Steve Collis said in a conference call yesterday. “They've probably added 3% to 4% and we don’t see - at least based on the last quarter - an adoption of Olysio and the new therapies backing off, it’s a very strong segment for us and our customers.”

Elysio is J&J subsidiary Janssen’s protease inhibitor drug to treat chronic hepatitis C virus infection approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in November 2013​.

Since then, three other drug products have been approved launched to treat the estimated 3.2million people affected with the virus in the US: Gilead’s nucleotide analog Sovaldi​ (sofosbuvir) and combination product Harvoni​, and just last month, AbbVie’s triple ingredient treatment Viekira Pak​.

I met one of our customers recently and I said what can we do to better job​,” Collis said.  “They said we need more credit for our stores because they’re doing more [HCV products] for patients.You get a couple of hep C patients and it totally changes the dynamics. The market is robust.”

Gilead and AbbVie have both struck exclusive deals with payers CVS and Express Scripts, respectively. In 2012​, AmeriSourceBergen bagged a supply deal with Express Scripts worth $18.5bn.

While Evercore ISI analyst Ross Muken described the firm’s results as “an impressive start to the year,”​ he warned the higher top-line contribution could be offset by more modest margin expansion assumptions coming from very low margin products among the hepatitis C products.

World Courier, the clinical trial logistics company acquired by AmeriSourceBergen in 2012​, also saw revenue growth in the quarter though Collis told investors results had been “somewhat dampened by foreign currency exchange rates,”​ due to the strong US Dollar against the Euro.

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