OSI Narrows Macugen Outlook

The biotech company expects to report $183 million to $185 million in sales of the drug for 2005.
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OSI Pharmaceuticals

(OSIP)

narrowed the guidance for its eye drug Macugen prior to its fourth-quarter and year-end earnings announcement, sending its shares lower Wednesday.

The biotech company expects to report $183 million to $185 million in Macugen sales for 2005. The previous guidance called for $175 million to $190 million in sales of the drug, which is used to treat wet age-related macular degeneration, a disease that can lead to blindness. OSI shares fell 2.5% to $28.24.

OSI also said fourth-quarter sales of the cancer drug Tarceva rose 15% sequentially to $83.9 million. OSI's marketing partner

Genentech

(DNA)

first disclosed the drug's sales along with its own

earnings Tuesday. In all of 2005, the year the drug was launched, sales were $274.9 million.

As Genentech collaborates with OSI on Tarceva however, its Lucentis eye drug is set to be a fierce Macugen adversary. Trial data has showed that the drug may not only stop vision loss caused by wet AMD, as Macugen does, but even improve it. Lucentis isn't yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but some analysts believe the drug could be on sale as early as the middle of this year.

OSI inherited Macugen through its acquisition of Eyetech Pharmaceuticals last year.