MedImmune Inc., a Gaithersburg-based biotechnology company, said yesterday that first-quarter earnings rose nearly 126 percent, largely on the strength of increased sales of its flagship product designed to prevent respiratory infections in infants.
Revenue for the three months ended March 31 grew 46 percent to $198.3 million from $135.5 million in the same period last year. Sales of Synagis, the drug used to combat respiratory syncytial virus in children, grew 52 percent in the quarter.
The growth helped push earnings to nearly $58 million, or 80 cents per diluted share, from $25.7 million, or 38 cents per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.
The results were released after the close of regular trading yesterday. Shares of MedImmune ended the day at $146.5625 on the Nasdaq stock market, down $4.4375 on volume of more than 1.4 million shares.
"In addition to our financial success in the first quarter, we continue to make excellent progress in moving new product candidates through the research and development pipeline and toward the market," MedImmune Chief Executive Officer Wayne T. Hockmeyer said in a statement. "We now have eight products in various stages of clinical testing and look forward to our busiest year ever in new product development."
Synagis contributed $176.2 million in revenue, vs. $116.2 million in the first quarter last year.
The company said selling, general and administrative costs rose to $50.7 million from $40.9 million in the year-ago quarter. Research and development expenses increased to $15.5 million from $13.8 million.