Celgene's New Multiple Myeloma Drug Is Kicking Amgen's Ass

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SUMMIT, NJ ( TheStreet) -- Celgene ( CELG) issued another "beat and raise" earnings report for the third quarter earnings -- pretty much standard operating procedure these days -- but take a look at the company's new multiple myeloma drug Pomalyst.

With $90 million in third-quarter sales, Pomalyst is kicking ass just three quarters into the launch.

Healthcare portfolio manager Ian Estepan picked up the significance in a tweet this morning:

Kyprolis is the multiple myeloma drug acquired by Amgen ( AMGN) in the $10 billion Onyx Pharmaceuticals deal. Both Kyprolis and Pomalyst are approved to treat patients with multiple myeloma that no longer responds to other drugs.

In other words, the two drugs compete for the same multiple myeloma patients, but so far, doctors seem to prefer Pomalyst over Kyprolis.

Kyprolis sales in the third quarter: $65 million, a touch weaker than Wall Street consensus.

The $90 million in Pomalyst sales for the third quarter trounced Wall Street expectations by $16 million, according to JP Morgan analyst Geoff Meacham.

Pomalyst is approved in the U.S. and Europe while Kyprolis is sold only stateside, but even Pomalyst U.S. sales of $77 million in the September quarter beat Kyprolis by a comfortable margin.

As Estepan points outs, Kyprolis received FDA approval in July 2012 while Pomalyst was approved this past February (European approval came in August.)

With less time on the market, Pomalyst is beating its closest competitor, which bodes well for Celgene as the company seeks to expand the drug's use into earlier stage multiple myeloma patients.

-- Reported by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.

Adam Feuerstein writes regularly for TheStreet. In keeping with company editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in TheStreet. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Feuerstein appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

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