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Biotech Earnings Preview: Vertex, Onyx, Dendreon, Medivation

Onyx Pharmaceuticals launched Kyprolis in July so investors get the first significant update on the multiple myeloma drug's launch Tuesday when the company reports third-quarter results.

Consensus sales expectations for Kyprolis are hard to pin down. I've seen some guesses in the $6 million range for the September quarter although whisper estimates are at least double that based on monthly sales data captured by Wolters Kluwer. But then, access to Kyprolis prescriptions by third-party tracking services is believed to be spotty, so it's hard to gauge the reliability of the monthly estimates.

Kyprolis demand appears to be high, according to anecdotal evidence gathered from physician surveys conducted by various analysts. According to the surveys, doctors are using Kyprolis at higher doses and for longer treatment duration than what's described in the drug's FDA label.

Overall, Onyx is expected to post a net loss of 90 cents per share on total revenue of $80.25 million in the third quarter.

Incyte can't afford a repeat performance of its dismal, stock-crushing second-quarter report when 1) Jakafai sales of $29.7 million fell short of expectations; and 2) management's guidance for 2012 Jakafi sales in the range of $120-135 million disappointed. Adding to Incyte's woes: The unexpected departure of its chief commercial officer.

I don't have a fix on Jakafi consensus for the third quarter to be released Thursday, but Oppenheimer is at $33 million, Wells Fargo at $45 million, J.P. Morgan at $32.6 million. Incyte adopted a new accounting method to recognize Jafaki sales starting in the third quarter that adds approximately $9 million in deferred revenue. It's not clear if analysts have factored this into their estimates.

On Thursday's conference call, Incyte management will be asked (again) about patient dropout, duration of Jakafi therapy and the trajectory of new patient additions. Jakafi was also launched in Europe during the quarter, so expect an update on the drug's launch there.

Overall, Incyte is expected to report a net loss of 21 cents per share on total revenue of $60.6 million.

Astellas is reporting fiscal second quarter results on Thursday, which will include sales of Medivation's prostate cancer drug Xtandi. Astellas will also be providing Xtandi sales guidance for the rest of the companys fiscal year ending March 31, 2013. Medivation will issue an 8-K with the Xtandi sales report on Thursday and report its own third-quarter financial results on Nov. 9.

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