Elan says Tysabri patient numbers disappointing
Elan’s Tysabri multiple sclerosis medicine attracted a disappointing number of new patients in the first three months of the year, Chief Executive Officer Kelly Martin said.
“The first quarter was not where we wanted to be in terms of net new patients,” Martin said in a phone interview today from New York.
“Adding 140 to 150 patients a week isn’t bad but when you look at the medical need we think it should be much higher than that.”
Elan’s first-quarter net loss narrowed to $2m from $102.6m a year earlier.
Ian Hunter, a Goodbody Stockbrokers analyst in Dublin, had estimated a loss of $25m for the Dublin company.
Doctors temporarily taking patients off the medicine may be hindering sales, Martin said.
“Doctors are taking patients off the drug for a few months,” he said. “We don’t have visibility for how those numbers will pan out.”
Total Tysabri sales increased 28pc to $292m in the first quarter, Elan said today. That missed Hunter’s sales estimate by 10pc.