Biopharm bets on cancer drug

DOCTOR’S ORDERS::The drug maker said Johson & Johnson’s orders for its ovarian and breast cancer drug would start boosting profits in the second half of the year

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Jun 26, 2013 - Page 14

Taiwanese drug maker TTY Biopharm Co (台灣東洋藥品) expects net profits to rise this year from last year because of new orders from US health giant Johnson & Johnson to manufacture a cancer drug.

The company on June 3 announced that it would manufacture ovarian and breast cancer drug Doxil/Caelyx for Johnson & Johnson on a contract basis, according to a filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

Orders from Johnson & Johnson would start contributing profit to the company from the second half of this year, TTY Biopharm chief auditor Tony Wu (吳文華) said at the sidelines of the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting yesterday.

The Taiwanese firm did not provide the estimated increase of its earnings per share this year because it would depend on the quantity required by Johnson & Johnson, Wu said.

“The shipments were set to be between 200,000 units and 800,000 units a year, and Johnson & Johnson will adjust the amount based on the market demand,” Wu said.

Johnson & Johnson plans to sell the cancer drug in Europe, while it waits for the drug to receive the approval from regulators in the US, Wu said.

The company posted a profit of NT$542.32 million (US$18.05 million), or earnings per share (EPS) of NT$2.53, for last year, up 3.88 percent the from NT$522.08 million, or EPS of NT$2.44, it recordedthe previous year.

TTY Biopharm shareholders yesterday approved NT$1.4 per common share in cash dividends, representing a 1.41 percent dividend yield ratio. They also passed the distribution of an 8.9 percent stock at the meeting.

TTY Biopharm planned to spend NT$650 million from January to the second quarter of next year on capital expansion, as it expects spending to increase sales to NT$338 million this year and NT$450 million next year, the company said in its annual financial report.

Furthermore, the company said it would invest more than NT$380 million in research and development this year to develop new drugs, the report said. It did not provide last year’s figure for comparison.

Last quarter, TTY Biopharm’s profit nearly tripled to NT$512.49 million, or EPS of NT$2.39, from the NT$131.79 million, or EPS of NT$0.76, it made a year ago after it obtained about NT$400 million from selling shares in its Shanghai-based subsidiary. The figure was 2.77 times higher than the NT$136.05 million it earned a quarter ago.

TTY Biopharm’s shares fell 2.93 percent yesterday to NT$99.5, underperforming the GRETAI’s 1.22 percent decline.