Publish date:

Cialis Launch Costs Icos

The biotech company beats estimates but its loss widens on impotence drug marketing costs.

Icos

(ICOS)

, best known for Cialis, the erectile dysfunction treatment, announced losses that were double year-ago levels, but said that sales of its hallmark drug were strong.

Icos had a first-quarter net loss of $86.3 million, or $1.36 a share, which is more than double the loss of $40.5 million, or 65 cents a share, it had a year ago. Analysts expected the company to lose $1.40 a share in the first quarter.

Icos said the losses stemmed from big increase in costs related to the U.S. commercial launch of Cialis, which brought in $108.3 million in worldwide sales in the first quarter.

All told, the company racked up sales of $32.8 million in the U.S., $36.3 million in Europe and $5.9 million in Canada and Mexico. Sales from these three regions are reported by Lilly Icos, which is a 50-50 joint venture between Icos and

Eli Lilly

TST Recommends

(LLY) - Get Report

. Sales outside North America and Europe totaled $33.3 during the quarter and are reported by Eli Lilly.

Icos' share of the revenue and expenses continued to grow in the first quarter. The company said that equity in losses of Lilly Icos came in at $69.2 million for the quarter, up from $21.5 million a year ago. But the company's total revenue, driven by strong Cialis sales, came in at $16.5 million, more than double the $7.1 million it had a year ago.

With the strong sales boost, Icos said that Cialis has just passed Levitra in market share within the erectile dysfunction market in the U.S. Through the week of April 23, the company said Cialis accounted for nearly 20% of all new prescriptions and 12.1% of the total market. In comparison, Levitra accounted for 14.2% of new prescriptions and 10.7% of the total market.

"We are pleased with the rapid uptake of Cialis," said Paul Clark, chairman and CEO. "Cialis is the only oral ED treatment which gives couples up to 36 hours to choose the moment for intimacy that is right for them."

Icos also said it plans to find additional uses for Cialis and will launch a clinical study using the drug to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Before the earnings release, which was right after the close of trading on Monday, shares of the company were up 19 cents, or 0.6%, to $32.49.