More MS news articles for July 2000

Serono Announces Record Second Quarter Sales Up 21.8% With Net Income up 60.2%

Rebif(R) Continues to Gain Market Share in Multiple Sclerosis

Thursday July 20, 1:00 am Eastern Time
Company Press Release
SOURCE: Serono International S.A.

GENEVA, July 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Serono (SWX: SEO) today reported that worldwide sales increased in dollar terms by 16.5% to $297.4m (1999 $255.2m) in the second quarter, and by 13.6% to $565.2m in the first six months of 2000 (1999 $497.6m). In local currencies, sales increased by 21.8% in the second quarter and by 19.2% in the first six months compared to the corresponding periods last year. The adverse currency effect of $16.7m in the second quarter and of $25.6m in the first six months was primarily due to the weakness of European currencies against the U.S. dollar.

``The outstanding second quarter sales performance reflects strong growth in all our business areas, and in particular the continued gain in market share by Rebif®. The significant improvement in profitability also demonstrates the strength of our underlying businesses,'' said Ernesto Bertarelli, Chief Executive Officer of Serono. ``Our leadership position in biotechnology is reflected in our intellectual property portfolio which continues to contribute significantly to our financial performance,'' added Mr. Bertarelli.


Sales of Rebif® in dollar terms in the second quarter increased by 88.5% to $60.9m (1999 $32.3m) or by 103.2% in local currencies, and for the first six months by 95.4% to $111.6m (1999 $57.1m) or by 110.3% in local currencies. With this growth rate of 95.4% for the first six months of 2000, compared with the first six months of 1999, Rebif® continues to rapidly gain market share at the expense of its competitors. Rebif® now has an approximate patient market share of 28% outside the USA, compared with 26% at the end of the first quarter and 23% at the end of 1999.

At the end of the second quarter of 2000, approximately 22,000 patients had been treated with Rebif® compared with approximately 18,800 at the end of the first quarter and 16,300 at the end of 1999. This is a second quarter increase of 3,200 patients, of which 2,500 were in Europe, which is the world's fastest growing market for MS therapies.

This rapid gain in market share is underpinned by extensive clinical trials in MS, the results from three of which were presented at the American Academy of Neurology meeting in San Diego in May 2000. Four-year data from the PRISMS study demonstrated that the highest of the two doses tested (44 mcg 3 x per week) showed significantly greater patient benefits in the long term than the lower dose (22 mcg 3 X per week). The data gave further support to starting treatment early in the course of the disease. Rebif® is the only beta interferon with marketing approval for such a higher dose, which now accounts for 34.9% of new Rebif® prescriptions.

Also presented at the AAN meeting in San Diego, the ETOMS study showed the usefulness of Rebif® for patients at high risk of developing clinically definite MS. Further analyses of the SPECTRIMS study have indicated the possible usefulness of Rebif® in the early stages of the secondary progressive form of the disease.