S&P 500 Component
|Headquarters||Cheshire, Connecticut, U.S.|
|Key people||Max E. Link (Chairman)
Leonard Bell (CEO)
|Revenue||US$ 1134.114 million (2012)45%|
|Operating income||US$ 404.338 mil (2012)75%|
|Net income||US$ 254.822 mil (2012)45%|
|Total assets||US$ 2.61356 bil (2012)87%|
|Total equity||US$ 1.97085 bil (2012)74%|
|Employees||1500 (December 2012)|
Alexion Pharmaceuticals is the original developer and distributor of Soliris, a drug used in treating the rare disorders atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) and Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH).
The company is also involved in research regarding the immune system and how it can be stopped from attacking healthy tissue (done by inhibiting terminal complements).
Soliris, the company's sole marketed drug, has been approved for use in the EU and Japan however its availability in other places like the USA and Canada is limited due to marketing restrictions and lack of ensured access (in Canada access to the drug is mostly through private clinics though groups like the Canadian Association of PNH Patients are lobbying to change that).
In 2012 37% of sales originated in the US down from 43%, with 35% coming from Europe up from 34%. In 2011 50% of the increase in assets came from cash and cash equivalents, the value of which has since gone down since part of it was spent on acquiring Enobia. In the last quarter R&D spending was higher due to expansion of development programs while net sales of Soliris increased 45% to $227.6 million on account of new international patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria. By September 2013 quarterly sales of Soliris topped $400 million.
Founded in 1992 in New Haven, Connecticut (at a place called Science Park). In 2000 it paid USD 41 million in Alexion stock for Proliferon Inc., a San Diego, California based development-stage biopharmaceutical firm that has since been renamed Alexion Antibody Technologies Inc. Alexion CEO at the time (Leonard Bell) cited Proliferon's ability to produce an 'unlimited amount of antibodies' as the reason for the acquisition. At the time Proliferon's annual revenue was about $2.5 million and its assets were valued at $2.1 million Also that year Alexion moved its headquarters from New Haven to Cheshire, Connecticut.
On April 4, 2011 Alexion became a member of the Nasdaq-100, a group composed of the 100 largest non-financial stocks traded on the Nasdaq; with a market value of USD 8.5 billion it replaced Genzyme Corporation. Before that,the company was also one of the financial supporters for a Healthcare Research and Quality study in Duke University on the research with aspirin and Plavix since 2006.
On December 29, 2011 Alexion acquired Montreal based Enobia Pharma Corp for $610 million and another $470 million to be paid later on contingent on company sales and regulatory goals. The $610 million includes $300 million in bank debt. Enobia is the developer of asfotase alpha, a drug used to treat the genetic disorder hypophosphatasia.
Alexion donates Soliris to German E coli patients
In Germany, the Shiga toxin producing hemolytic-uremic syndrome, caused by the E coli infection EHEC which leads to blood infection induced kidney failure, reached epidemic proportions in 2010. Initially, Soliris was considered a treatment option due to its effectiveness in treating atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome, an illness similar to the specific type of E coli afflicting people in Germany. Alexion's German subsidiary has been providing those patients with Soliris free of charge.
Soliris receives FDA approval
On September 23, 2011 it was announced that the US Food and Drug Administration officially approved the use of Soliris as a treatment for atypical hemolytic-uremic syndrome in both adults and children. More than half of people with aHUS end up dying of it as a result of damage to vital organs/organ failure (usually involving the kidneys) caused by uncontrolled complement activation. The FDA's decision to grant approval received a positive response from the medical community with the director of Pediatric Nephrology at Atlanta's Children's hospital calling it "the most important advance that has been made for patients and families with this disease".
Alexion accused of "moral blackmail" in Belgium
In April and May 2013, Alexion was involved in a national controversy in Belgium when media revealed that the government refused to pay for a seven year old boy's treatment on the account that the drug he needed to stay alive, Soliris, was too expensive. The boy's medicine cost 9,000 euros every two weeks. Several politicians stated that the company was attempting to 'blackmail' the government, charges which Alexion denies. On May 4, 2013, the newspaper De Standaard reported that a PR agency working for Alexion had helped the boy's parents communicate their story to the press. This story was confirmed by other news organizations, and it was also reported that the parents had believed their benefactor was a Dutch organization for patients and that the PR agency acted with permission from Alexion. By May 7 an agreement was reached to reimburse the medicine.
- "Alexion Pharmaceuticals 2012 Annual Report". 2013.
- "Alexion Submits Applcation for Soliris". 2011-04-08.
- "Alexion Pharmaceuticals on the Forbes World’s Most Innovative Companies List". forbes.com. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
- "Alexion Seeks Label Expansion". 2011-04-08.
- "Alexion Pharmaceuticals 2011 end of year and fourth quarter results". 2012-02-09.
- "Alexion Buys Calif. Firm;Proliferon acquired in $41 million deal". 2000-02-10.
- "Securities and Exchange Commission Alexion 8-K 2000 Report". 2000-09-18.
- "Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to Join the NASDAQ-100 Index Beginning April 4, 2011". 2011-03-29.
- "More Support for Long-Term Plavix to Improve Stent Safety". Dec 5, 2006. Retrieved Jul 18, 2013.
- "Alexion to Pay as Much as $1.08 Billion to Buy Enobia Pharma". December 29, 2011.
- "Alexion treating Europe's E coli victims". 2011-05-31.
- "Soliris® (eculizumab) Approved by FDA for All Patients with Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (aHUS)". September 23, 2011.
- "Viktor (7) moet elke twee weken infuus krijgen van 9.000 euro". April 30, 2013.
- "Detiège: "Dit is chantage van het farmabedrijf"". May 2, 2013.
- "Pr-bureau van farmabedrijf adviseerde ook ouders Viktor". May 4, 2013.
- "Farmabedrijf Alexion heeft Viktor "gebruikt"". May 4, 2013.
- "Farmabaas fluit Alexion terug in zaak-Viktor". May 6, 2013.
- "Medicijn Viktor vanaf juli terugbetaald". May 7, 2013.