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Alexion Pharma Updates 2018 Outlook

Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ALXN) said that it now expects GAAP results for 2018 to be loss $0.08 per share - profit $0.26 per share, compared to earnings per share of $1.25 - $1.50.

It projects annual non-GAAP earnings per share to be between $7.45 and $7.60 compared to the prior range of $7.00 to $7.15.

The company expects annual total revenues of $4.020 billion to $4.050 billion , compared to the previous outlook of $3.980 billion to $4.010 billion.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect the company to report earnings of $7.24 per share and revenues of $4.04 billion for fiscal year 2018. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Separately, Alexion Pharmaceuticals and Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (DRNA) announced a collaboration to discover and develop RNA interference (RNAi) therapies for complement-mediated diseases.The agreement provides Alexion with exclusive worldwide licenses as well as development and commercial rights for two of Dicerna's preclinical, subcutaneously delivered GalXC RNAi molecules and an exclusive option for other preclinical GalXC RNAi molecules for two additional targets within the complement pathway.

As per the terms of the agreement, Alexion and Dicerna will collaborate on the discovery and development of subcutaneously delivered GalXC RNAi molecules directed to two complement pathway targets for the treatment of complement-mediated diseases. In addition, Alexion will have the right to exercise options, for additional payment, for two additional GalXC RNAi molecules directed to complement pathway targets.

Dicerna will lead the joint discovery and research efforts through the preclinical stage, and Alexion will lead development efforts beginning with Phase 1 studies. The agreement provides Alexion with exclusive worldwide licenses and commercial rights to the GalXC RNAi molecules developed in the collaboration. Dicerna will receive an immediate upfront payment of $22 million, with Alexion making a concurrent $15 million equity investment in Dicerna at a premium to market as of the collaboration effective date.

The collaboration also provides for potential additional development and approval-related milestone payments of up to $105 million per target, plus sales milestones and mid-single to low-double digit royalties on future product sales.

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