Lilly gears up for 'top-tier' growth to 2025 thanks to its new launches

Eli Lilly
Lilly has been able to grow sales volumes, but prices are still dragging on growth, the drugmaker reported Thursday. (Eli Lilly)

Eli Lilly has a posse of newer meds bringing in a big chunk of the company's sales, and that group could grow by three members just this year, executives said Thursday. Together, they're expected to drive the company to "top-tier" growth through 2025.

Drugs that launched since 2014 account for nearly half of the company's sales, the company reported along with Lilly's fourth-quarter earnings. That includes meds that have been galloping ahead in recent quarters: type 2 diabetes med Trulicity, immunology drug Taltz, migraine-fighter Emgality and more.

In all, that new generation of drugs pulled in 46% of the global drugmaker's fourth-quarter revenue. That's a big turnabout from just five years ago, a recent review from Vantage noted.

On-Demand Webinar

Leveraging A Medical Record-Enriched Patient Dataset for COVID-19 Research

You are invited to join a webinar that will explore the ways researchers can leverage this enriched dataset for important COVID-19 research. Sign up today for this informative webinar to learn how you can leverage one of the only medical record reviews solely using real-world data from hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

Five years ago, 95% of Lilly's sales were from old drugs, Vantage said, and by its calculations, that was down to 51% at the end of 2019. In the publication's ranking of pipeline "freshness," Vantage called the company's portfolio a "standout performance."

RELATED: Eli Lilly's Reyvow wins FDA nod for migraine relief, but side effects could limit sales: analyst 

Up next? Lilly expects to launch acute migraine treatment Reyvow in 2020, and it's prepping for other rollouts that could come by year's end. The company submitted osteoarthritis pain med tanezumab and RET inhibitor selpercatinib to the FDA, with the latter picking up a priority review this week. 

As for ongoing launches, Lilly’s CGRP migraine prevention med Emgality pulled in $162 million in 2019, but the company still sees opportunity for growth, Lilly Bio-Medicines president Patrik Jonsson said. Lilly’s new-to-brand share is nearly 50% and the company plans to bolster its sales efforts with primary care doctors this year, he said during Thursday's earnings call.

RELATED: Racing Blueprint, Lilly drug gets priority review for RET hopeful 

Meanwhile, Lilly's patent expiration for ED med Cialis and its market withdrawal for cancer drug Lartruvo weighed on growth last year. Cialis' loss of exclusivity dragged sales for the ED med down 52% versus 2018 to $890 million.

Further, Lilly expects U.S. generic competition to osteoporosis medicine Forteo this year; that drug generated $645 million in the key market in 2019.

Amid the U.S. pricing debate, Lilly execs also touted the fact that its growth isn't coming from higher prices. In the fourth quarter, Lilly grew volumes 8% in the U.S., partially offset by a 1% decline in pricing. For the full year, the company grew global volumes by 8%, but pricing fell by 3%. Lilly’s 2019 revenues were up 5% at constant currencies to $22.3 billion. 

That volume growth is a “function of our portfolio,” CFO Josh Smiley said on Thursday’s conference call, which he said is "relatively young." Looking forward, the company expects the volume gains to continue through 2025, helping to bring "top-tier" revenue growth, Smiley added.

Suggested Articles

Life sciences companies have pivoted quickly during COVID-19 - Syneos Health® is supporting more than 80 active COVID-19 projects, including vaccines.

New York's Covaxx has signed on with three South American nations to provide 140 million doses of its early-stage COVID-19 vaccine.

To get the COVID-19 vaccine out quickly, Pfizer has been running rehearsals at distribution sites, creating "growing confidence," U.S. officials said.