InterMune: Weak Esbriet Sales But In-Line Pricing

BRISBANE, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- InterMune ( ITMN) reported weak sales of its lung disease therapy Esbriet for the second quarter but the company did manage to negotiate final pricing with German authorities that meets Wall Street expectations.

Esbriet sales for the June quarter totaled $5.5 million, all in Germany where InterMune launched the drug for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis last September. While second-quarter sales were up 12% sequentially, analysts on average were expecting Esbriet sales of $7 million-plus.

InterMune did not disclose the number of new patients starting Esbriet therapy in the second quarter, only saying the number was up "significantly" over the first quarter. Previously, InterMune said 363 patients started Esbriet therapy in the first quarter, down from 402 new patient starts in the fourth quarter last year.

The company also said it had finalized negotiations with German authorities for a final reimbursement price of Esbriet to be approximately $33,000 per patient per year. That represents a 10% discount from the current Esbriet price but within the $30,000 range that Wall Street expected.

InterMune is still negotiating Esbriet pricing with other European countries where it expects to launch the drug later this year, including France, Italy, Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands and Finland. InterMune will launch Esbriet in the United Kingdom and Ireland in the first quarter 2013.

Esbriet sales for 2012 will be in the range of $20-25 million, below consensus of $41 million, while total operating expenses are expected to be in the range of $200-235 million, InterMune said.

Intermune reported net income of $500,000, or a penny per share in the second quarter, compared to a net loss of $39.9 million, or 68 cents per share, in the same quarter of 2011. The net income in the June quarter reflects income from discontinued operations of $51.4 million related to the sale of the drug Actimmune completed in June.

InterMune shares were down 6 cents to $11.65 in Monday pre-market trading.

A calendar of biotech earnings for the week, with consensus estimates, can be found here.

--Written by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Adam Feuerstein.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/adamfeuerstein.

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