TaiMed expects sales of HIV drug to pick up in 2020

By Ted Chen  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Dec 06, 2018 - Page 12

The year-end holidays and slowing economic prospects would continue to drag on sales of newly approved HIV/AIDS treatment Trogarzo, TaiMed Biologics Inc (中裕新藥) said yesterday.

“We expect to see sales growth accelerate significantly beginning 2020 as Trogarzo secures marketing approval from European authorities,” TaiMed chief executive officer James Chang (張念原) told an investors’ conference in Taipei.

However, during the year-end holidays, patients and physicians are less likely to adopt newly approved drugs, while anticipated economic uncertainties would slow growth momentum, Chang said.

Chang added that the firm is also trying to gain the US Food and Drug Administration’s approval for an intramuscular formulation of Trogarzo.

At the end of October, the US Department of Health and Human Services updated its HIV treatment guidelines to include Trogarzo, and the drug has since received a “J” code to enable billing by private and public health insurance programs in the US, beginning on Jan. 1, Chang said.

Meanwhile, TaiMed swung into the red in the past quarter, falling below expectations.

Production bottlenecks chipped into the firm’s profitability, Chang said.

He said the next 12 to 18 months would be crucial in attaining expected peak sales of about US$300 million as the drug reaches its fourth and fifth years in the market.

The company posted a net loss of NT$357 million (US$11.59 million) at the end of the third quarter, translating to loss per share of NT$1.42, down from profits of NT$64 million in the second quarter, or earnings per share of NT$0.24.

Revenue rose to NT$88 million at the end of the third quarter, up from NT$38 million at the end of the second quarter.

The company attributed its losses to a drop in the value of shares it holds in Montreal-based Theratechnologies Inc, its exclusive marketing and distributing partner in the US, Canada and Europe.