United Therapeutics net income up 40 percent in 2012

Feb. 26, 2013 @ 10:15 PM

Maryland-based United Therapeutics Corp., a pharmaceutical company with research and development operations in the Research Triangle Park, reported 40 percent year-over-year net income growth for 2012.

The growth was driven by revenue increases from the company's three pulmonary arterial hypertension treatments.

The company reported Tuesday a net income for the year of $304.4 million, or $5.84 per share. Its revenues were up 23 percent to $916 million. Next year, the company wants to see total revenues in the range of 5 percent above to 5 percent below $1 billion.

“Across the board it’s been a fantastic quarter, and a fantastic year, for United Therapeutics,” said Martine Rothblatt, chairman and CEO of the Silver Spring, Md.,-based company, speaking in a conference call with investors on Tuesday. She said the company saw record revenues, profits, and profits per share.

The company has three commercial treatments for pulmonary arterial hypertension, a disease that affects the blood vessels in the lungs. The disease is characterized by increased pressure in the pulmonary arteries. That increased pressure strains the right side of the heart as it pumps blood to the lungs, according to information from the company, which leads to right heart failure and death.

Revenues for the company’s largest revenue-generator Remodulin, an injected treatment, were up 6.5 percent to $458 million in 2012 compared with the prior year.

Revenues for Tyvaso, an inhaled pulmonary arterial hypertension treatment that uses the same active ingredient, treprostinil, as Remodulin, were up 35 percent to $325.6 million.

The company’s oral treatment for the same condition, Adcirca, saw revenues increase 74 percent year-over-year to $122.5 million.

The active ingredient in Adcirca is the same active ingredient in Cialis, which is marketed by Eli Lilly and Co. for treatment of erectile dysfunction. United Therapeutics acquired the rights to Adcirca for U.S. treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension in 2008.

Rothblatt said United Therapeutics is nearing approval in China for Remodulin, and is about a year away from approval in Japan. She said the company expects a surge in Remodulin revenues from those and other international approvals. She also said the company is looking to continue prescription growth for Adcirca, and expects Tyvaso to surpass Remodulin revenues in the next 12 to 24 months.

She also said that United Therapeutics has implantable pump technology in clinical trials for administration of Remodulin. The company expects results from a trial in August, she said, and is targeting the technology to be commercialized in late 2014 or early 2015.

The company has also resubmitted an application for an oral pulmonary arterial hypertension treatment that uses treprostinil as an active ingredient. The application was rejected by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last year. Rothblatt said a clinical trial for the treatment is ongoing.

“We believe it’s going to result with a significant outcome showing a delay in clinical worsening when dosed in combination with other drugs,” she said.

The company manufactures oral treprostinil for clinical trials at its 380,000-square-foot facility in RTP. The company also warehouses and distributes Remodulin and Tyvaso from the location.

The company also bought a 132-acre property in the park with about 703,000 square feet of space that adjoins its facility in the RTP. The building on the site, known as the Elion-Hitchings building, was previously occupied by GlaxoSmithKline.

United Therapeutics plans to use the site for future expansion, according to the company’s annual report, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It expects to begin preparing a portion of the property for development in the first half of this year to house research, development and production facilities for its regenerative and organ transplant programs.

The company employed 623 employees as of Feb. 8, according to its annual report. In RTP, the company employs about 215. The site is used for research and development, clinical trials, regulatory, sales and marketing business, and other work.

The company’s stock was trading at $58.20 Tuesday evening, up 54 cents.