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Ariad reports $6.4M in 1Q sales of leukemia pill

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) -- Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Tuesday that revenue from its leukemia pill Iclusig, its first approved drug, totaled $6.4 million in the first quarter, surpassing Wall Street's expectations.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Iclusig in December as a treatment for two types of the disease. Ariad reported $6.4 million in revenue from the drug in its first quarter on the market. The company said it deferred another $3.3 million in revenue for shipments that had not been received by clients at the end of the quarter, and $2.1 million of the drug was shipping in France through an early-access program.

Shares of Ariad gained 57 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $17.91 in midday trading.

Ariad said it lost $64.7 million, or 36 cents per share, in the first quarter. A year earlier the company took a loss of $55.9 million, or 35 cents per share. Total revenue grew to $6.5 million from $81,000.

Analysts had forecast a loss of 37 cents per share and $5.2 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

Iclusig is approved for use against treatment-resistant chronic myeloid leukemia and for patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia with a type of chromosome abnormality. The FDA's decision to approve Iclusig came about three months earlier than expected, as the agency's ruling was not due until late March.

Ariad said around 325 U.S. patients had been treated with Iclusig by the end of the first quarter.

European Union regulators said in March that the drug should be approved. Ariad hopes to complete that approval during the second quarter and said it expects to be ready to launch Iclusig in Europe by July 1.

The company has also filed for approval in Switzerland and plans to ask Canadian and Australian regulators to approve the drug in the third quarter.

The deferred revenue covers shipments that were sent by Ariad to specialty pharmacies and drug distributors but hadn't reached clients by March 31. The shipments in France will be recorded as revenue when the price of the drug in that country is determined. That is expected to happen later this year.