(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with details; CHANGES headline; ADDS byline, photo)
By Kim Han-joo

SEOUL, Nov. 10 (Yonhap) — Celltrion Inc., a major South Korean biopharmaceutical firm, said Wednesday that its net profit plunged 20.1 percent on-year in the third quarter from a year earlier partly due to an increased ratio of relatively cheaper biosimilars in its product portfolio.

Net profit came to 140.4 billion won (US$118.9 million) during the July-September period on a consolidated basis, compared with a profit of 175.8 billion won a year ago, the company said in a regulatory filing.

(lead) celltrion q3 net profit down 20 pct on increased ratio of cheaper biosimilars in portfolio

Celltrion said its operating profit came to 116.4 billion won during the cited period, compared with 245.3 billion won a year ago.

Its sales also fell 26.9 percent on-year to 401 billion won, Celltrion said.

Celltrion described the downbeat earnings as temporary due to the increased ratio of Remsima, a biosimilar drug to treat autoimmune diseases, in its product portfolio. The unit price of Remsima is relatively lower compared with other biosimilars.

Major biosimilars continue to show profitability overseas, with Remsima logging a market share of 53 percent in Europe and 21.2 percent in the United States, the company said, citing industry data.

The company said sales of Truxima in the U.S. market greatly increased, with its market share reaching 40.2 percent in the quarter, citing industry data.

Celltrion expected its profitability to improve down the road when global sales of the subcutaneous (SC) version of Remsima for the treatment of autoimmune diseases kick off.

Remsima SC is a biosimilar copy of Janssen Biotech Inc.’s Remicade. It is administered through intravascular injections and is used in the treatment of a number of diseases, from rheumatoid arthritis to Crohn’s disease.

Shares in Celltrion rose 4.14 percent to 214,000 won on the Seoul bourse, outperforming the broader KOSPI’s 1.09 percent decrease. The third-quarter report was announced after the local market closed Wednesday.

khj@yna.co.kr
(END)

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