October 26, 2017

Alexion records $165M restructuring charge in 3Q; revenues up

PHOTO | Contributed
PHOTO | Contributed
The building at 100 College St. in New Haven is headquarters for Alexion Pharmaceuticals.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc., one of the state's largest bioscience companies that announced earlier this year it was moving its headquarters to Boston, said Thursday it boosted its third quarter revenues 8 percent, but saw a decline in profits after spending $164 million as part of a companywide restructuring.

The rare-drug maker announced the restructuring in September, saying it would reduce its global workforce 20 percent, relocate its New Haven headquarters to Boston by mid-2018, and close a site in Rhode Island that is limited to manufacturing only one drug at a time.

It wasn't clear Thursday morning how much progress Alexion made in each of those areas.

For the quarter ended Sept. 30, Alexion said its total revenues grew 8 percent to $859 million, while its net income was $78 million, or 35 cents per share, compared to $94 million, or 42 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Sales were up for three of Alexion's drugs, including its breadwinner Soliris, a rare blood disorder remedy that recorded $756 million in sales in the third quarter, compared to $728 million a year earlier.

Newly appointed CEO Ludwig Hantson said the company "delivered strong commercial, R&D, and financial performance in the third quarter," and also received regulatory approvals for wider use of Soliris in the U.S. and European Union.

Alexion has had a bumpy ride over the past year. It shook up its C-Suite several times following an in internal probe of the company's Soliris sales practices, which has since been resolved. But in July, Alexion became the focus of a probe by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General in connection with an earlier federal investigation involving its support for charities that aid Medicare patients.

In September, Alexion said it expects to save $250 million as a result of the restructuring and re-invest $100 million of that in the business over time. It will also absorb some $440 million in expenses, including up to $60 million to relocate; up to $90 million to lay off workers; up to $210 million to close facilities and up to $80 million in other costs, the company said.

Alexion said it will keep 450 employees in New Haven while moving 400 to Boston.

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