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CHIRON’s PROLEUKIN SALES TO END USERS TOTAL $2.2 MIL. IN QUARTER, FIRM SAYS

Executive Summary

Chiron Proleukin interleukin-2 sales from wholesalers to end buyers in the third quarter were approximately $2.2 mil., Chiron estimated Nov. 5. The $200,000 in Proleukin sales recorded by Chiron in its quarterly results "are sales primarily to wholesalers to establish inventories and therefore do not yet represent actual product use by oncologists," the company explained. Proleukin was approved on May 5 for treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma. "Given the uncertainty of timing for product approval, initial shipments of Proleukin IL-2 to wholesalers to establish inventories included product carrying less than full- term expiration dating," Chiron said. The $200,000 in sales recorded by Chiron is "net of estimated potential returns of short-dated product." Chiron's total product sales for the quarter were $27.2 mil. compared to $13 mil. in 1991, prior to the firm's acquisition of Cetus. For the nine months, product sales are $82.3 mil. compared to $36.1 mil. a year ago. EuroCetus and Cetus Oncology generated worldwide sales of $5.3 mil. for the quarter and $20.1 mil. through nine months. The oncology lines include Proleukin sales and generic anticancer products. Corporate revenues for the three months were $61.3 mil. compared to $35.9 mil. in 1991. For the nine months, revenues were $186.8 mil., up from $100 mil. a year ago. Chiron posted net losses of $7.6 mil. for the quarter and $52.7 mil. for the nine months. The year-to-date loss includes a $40 mil. charge related to the Chiron/Ciba-Geigy Biocine joint venture's purchase of the Italian vaccine firm Sclavo (see related item, T&G 9). Numerous other charges total about $10 mil. also contributed to the loss. Chiron cited the "continued strong performance" of its joint venture with Ortho for blood screening and diagnostics. Chiron's share of profit from the venture was $20.5 mil. for the quarter and $58.2 mil. through nine months. In the respective periods of 1991, Chiron's share was $12.1 mil. and $33 mil. Ivax revenues nearly tripled for the quarter, reaching $121 mil. compared to $49.2 mil. a year ago. Through nine months, revenues have more than doubled from $150.4 mil. in 1991 to $321.6 mil. in 1992. The firm attributed the increases to the December 1991 acquisition of Goldline (which was estimated at that time to have $175 mil. in annual sales) and the August launch of the first generic extended release verapamil (equivalent to Searle's Calan SR/Knoll's Isoptin SR). Net income more than tripled for the nine months to $31.5 mil. For the quarter, net income jumped from $2.6 mil. in 1991 to $21.7 mil. in 1992.

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