Celltrion's net falls 39 percent in first quarter to 121 billion won
Analysts had forecast 180.6 billion won, according to FnGuide.
Quarterly revenue stood at 550.6 billion won, up 20.5 percent on year. Operating profit fell 32 percent to 142.3 billion won, missing the 197.9-billion-won market consensus.
"Profits dropped as sales of less profitable products, like test kits, made up the higher portion of the company's total sales in the first quarter," Celltrion said in a statement. "But sales of major biosimilar products, like Remsima and Truxima, surged overseas, including in the U.S. and European markets."
European market share for Remsima, a biosimilar copy of Janssen Biotech's Remicade, was 51.7 percent as of the end of the fourth quarter last year, according to data provided by health care market tracker IQVIA. Truxima's share stood at 28.7 percent followed by Herzuma's 13.6 percent.
Remsima’s market share in the United States stood at 27.5 percent, while Truxima had 27.2 percent.
Biosimilars, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are biological products that are approved based on proof that they are highly similar to other FDA-approved products. The drugs have no clinically meaningful differences in terms of safety or effectiveness from the reference product, but they cost less.
Celltrion is currently awaiting FDA use approval for Yuflyma, its biosimilar version of adalimumab, better known as Humira, developed by Lake Bluff, Illinois-based AbbVie. The company is anticipating approval this year.
Celltrion aims to increase profits from the biosimilar business by three-fold by 2025. It has four biosimilar candidates in Phase 3 clinical trials, including CT-P43, which references Stelara psoriasis treatment, and one candidate in Phase 1 clinical trials.
Celltrion shares fell 4.6 percent to 154,500 won Thursday.
BY SARAH CHEA [firstname.lastname@example.org]