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Alkermes, nearing oncology split, posts big Q2 sales gain after winning J&J arbitration case

With winnings from its arbitration battle against Johnson & Johnson in hand—alongside a jump in its own product sales—Alkermes seems to be feeling itself heading into the second half of 2023.

After the Dublin-based drugmaker won a high-stakes case versus J&J last month, the company bumped up its 2023 sales forecast by $425 million to between $1.55 billion and $1.68 billion. In revealing second-quarter results, the company provided some details behind the new guidance.

Alkermes expects J&J’s royalties and interest on late payments for 2022 to come in at around $197 million, while 2023 royalties should land between $265 to $280 million, the company said in an investor presentation. Those payments relate to J&J’s schizophrenia drug Invega, which uses Alkermes’ NanoCrystal technology and delivered sales of $4.1 billion last year.

With the arbitration win in tow, Alkermes generated $617 million this quarter, including $248 million of back royalties and interest from the J&J case. As for its own products, second-quarter sales increased 21% to $231.5 million.

Alkermes’ opioid dependence injectable Vivitrol generated $102 million, while schizophrenia drug Aristada raked in $82.4 million. The medicines posted increases of 6% and 10%, respectively, compared with the same period in 2022. Alkermes expects Vivitrol sales to come in between $380 million and $410 million for the full year, while Asristada should bring in between $315 million and $345 million, the company said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, bipolar disorder 1 and schizophrenia treatment Lybalvi posted a major sales increase of 134% compared with last year’s second quarter, hitting $47 million during the period. The company expects full-year revenues for that drug to land between $180 million and $205 million after its 2021 approval.

Alkermes is also busy with its planned separation of its oncology business, which it plans to spin into an independent, publicly traded company called Mural Oncology. The two companies should officially split during the second half of this year should the transaction meet all requirements, including approval by the board.

Speaking of Alkermes’ board, the company recently put a stop to a campaign by activist investor Sarissa Capital by rejecting three Sarissa board nominees and reelecting all seven of its existing directors. Sarissa, which successfully overhauled Amarin’s board earlier this year, had publicly urged shareholders to help it transform the “undervalued company.”