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Alexion’s Soliris: Gauging Patient Demand

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Rise in patient demand

For fiscal 2017, Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN) expects to Soliris’ sales to be in the range of $3.02 billion–$3.10 billion. The company has projected that demand for the drug from new PNH (paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria) and aHUS (atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome) patients will continue to rise at a steady rate in 2017.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals is expected to continue to play a significant role in the rare disease space, similar to peers like Incyte (INCY), United Therapeutics (UTHR), and Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX). To know more about ongoing trends for Soliris, please refer to Market Realist’s Alexion’s Soliris Is Still Going Strong.

However, Alexion Pharmaceuticals expects to witness the negative revenue impact of $70 million–$110 million in Soliris’ fiscal 2017 revenues due to some patients enrolling in ongoing as well as future clinical trials related to the investigational therapy ALXN 1210.

The company also expects access constraints in Latin American markets to have an unfavorable impact on Soliris’ revenues in 2017. To know more about challenges faced by Soliris, please refer to Market Realist’s Which Factors Might Lead to Stagnant Growth for Soliris in 3Q16?

Notably, Alexion Pharmaceuticals makes up about 0.50% of the PowerShares QQQ’s (QQQ) total portfolio holdings.

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Growth drivers

Alexion Pharmaceuticals is confident of the growth opportunity for Soliris in the PNH segment, as the company believes that the majority of patients in the world have yet to start treatment. The company continues to witness a steady rise in newly diagnosed PNH patients in markets where the company has been present for a long time as well as in the relatively weaker Latin American markets.

However, by end of 2016, in the US, the number of aHUS patients using Soliris has surpassed the number of PNH patients on Soliris therapy. Hence, aHUS segment can be considered to be a bigger growth opportunity for Soliris than the PNH segment.

In the next part of the series, we’ll discuss margin trends for Alexion Pharmaceuticals in greater detail.

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