Novo Nordisk, Moderna and Regeneron became the latest pharma companies to release their quarterly earnings reports Thursday morning.

On the whole, Novo kept chugging along with strong sales of its GLP-1 drugs Wegovy and Ozempic, though Moderna and Regeneron both encountered headwinds to start 2024.

Check out a breakdown of each company’s quarterly earnings reports below:

GLPs lift Novo’s profits

Days after rival Eli Lilly reported strong financials and raised its full year revenue guidance by $2 billion, Novo produced its own impressive balance sheet.

The Danish drugmaker reported 65.3 billion Danish kroner (DKK) in quarterly sales, making a 24% increase at constant exchange rates (CER). The company’s operating profit rose 30% at CER to 31.8 billion DKK, boosted by a 34% increase in sales in North America and 11% internationally.

Diabetes and obesity care sales rose 27% at CER to 61 billion DKK, with GLP-1 diabetes products contributing 32% sales growth. Additionally, Novo’s rare disease sales declined 3% at CER over the same period. 

Building on the continued momentum behind its GLP-1 drugs, the pharma company’s parent company, Novo Holdings, announced a deal in early February to buy contract drug manufacturer Catalent in a deal worth up to $16.5 billion. In its earnings release, Novo said it expects the purchase to close by year’s end.

At that time, Novo said it expects to see sales growth in the range of 19% to 27% at CER, with an operating profit growth between 22% to 30% at CER.

“We are pleased with the sales growth in the first three months of 2024, driven by increased demand for our GLP-1-based diabetes and obesity treatments,” Novo CEO Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen said in a statement. “More patients benefit from our innovative treatments, and the agreement to acquire the three Catalent manufacturing sites will enable us to serve significantly more people living with diabetes and obesity in the future. Within R&D, we are pleased with the positive results from the kidney outcomes trial with semaglutide and the label expansion for cardiovascular risk reduction for Wegovy in the US.”

While Wegovy and Ozempic continue to be the name of the game for Novo, especially in light of the Cen­ters for Medicare and Med­ic­aid Ser­vices’ announcement that Medicare Part D plans could cover anti-obesity drugs like Wegovy, the company made other major moves in Q1.

In late February, Novo agreed to a $1.46 billion deal with San Diego-based biotech Neomorph to discover, develop and commercialize molecular glue degraders. The next month, the drugmaker purchased Cardior Pharmaceuticals in a deal worth up to $1.1 billion.

Moderna maintains outlook despite sinking sales

The post-COVID slump continues to impact Moderna.

The company reported $167 million in total revenue, down from $1.8 billion this time last year, while total operating expenses hit $1.4 billion. The company reported a net loss of $1.1 billion, one year after it reported $79 million in net income.

Despite the declining financials, Moderna reaffirmed its full year product sales outlook as the pandemic enters its second year of endemicity and the company shifts its focus to RSV.

The company stated that it expects initial regulatory approvals of its RSV vaccine mRNA-1345 during the first half of the year, which would get it back in the race with GSK, Pfizer and Sanofi; all of which have FDA-approved RSV vaccines.

“As we anticipate the launches of our Spikevax 2024-2025 formula and RSV vaccine, we are exercising financial discipline and have intensified our focus on building and utilizing AI technologies to further streamline operations and enhance productivity,” Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a statement. “With 10 late-stage programs, and additional new programs advancing toward pivotal studies, we continue to expect numerous product milestones this year across our vaccines and therapeutics portfolio. This is the start of a banner year for our vaccine platform as we continue to advance mRNA medicines for patients. This is just the beginning.”

Of note, Bancel brought home just over $17 million in total compensation last year, which represents a decline from the $19.4 million he made in 2022.

Flora Mackay, a healthcare analyst at Citeline, wrote in a reactive commentary that Moderna’s full year net sales outlook represents a “considerable markdown” from 2023. Additionally, she wrote that Evaluate estimates a total 29% year-on-year deprecation.

“For Moderna to meet its goal of continuous growth beyond 2025, the company will first need to receive a favorable ACIP recommendation for mRNA-1345, before entering the race to secure contracts against competitors Arexvy and Abrysvo prior to the next RSV season,” she wrote. “Investors are eager to learn of Moderna’s commercial strategy in the bid to secure contracts, however, details of such strategies are yet to be disclosed.”

Following the earnings release, Moderna’s stock traded up more than 6% during the late Thursday morning session.

Moderna released its earnings just over a week after it announced a partnership with OpenAI, the artificial intelligence company behind ChatGPT, to integrate generative AI into its medical operations and drive innovation.

A major development for Moderna came during its annual vaccines day, when the company struck a development and commercialization funding deal with private equity firm Blackstone Life Sciences to help bolster its flu pipeline. Per terms of the agreement, Blackstone will pay Moderna $750 million to fund its flu portfolio for cumulative commercial milestones and low-single digit royalties.

Eylea hampers Regeneron sales

Regeneron’s sales slid 1% to $3.1 billion due in part to a decline in demand for Eylea.

Excluding Ronapreve, Regeneron’s total revenue increased 7%, but its net income fell 12% to $722 million and its non-GAAP net income per share dropped 5%.

Eylea’s net product sales fell 2% to $1.4 billion, with domestic sales declining 16% year-over-year.

Still, Dupixent continues to be a reliable standard bearer, bringing in $3.08 billion for the company and Sanofi. Additionally, Libtayo’s global net sales increased 45% to $264 million during the quarter.

The company did adjust its full year guidance, raising its GAAP research and development range to $4.9 billion to $5.1 billion and upped its GAAP SG&A range to between $2.9 billion to $3.09 billion.

“The Regeneron team has already made substantial progress this year, delivering our approved medicines to more patients around the globe, advancing our pipeline consisting of dozens of clinical-stage programs, and relentlessly pursuing cutting-edge science,” Regeneron CEO Leonard S. Schleifer, MD, PhD said in a statement. “We had a strong quarter of Eylea HD uptake, and we are well positioned to continue our leadership in retinal diseases. Dupixent continues to grow at a remarkable pace seven years into its launch and is currently treating over 850,000 patients across a variety of diseases characterized by type 2 inflammation. Our promising oncology franchise is strengthening, driven by strong global growth in Libtayo sales and potential regulatory approvals later this year for linvoseltamab in relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma.”

On the regulatory front during Q1, the FDA extended the approval on Praluent (alirocumab) injection for treating children with a genetic form of high cholesterol but also rejected Odronextamab for treating follicular and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

In addition to these three large drugmakers, Agios Pharmaceuticals, Blueprint Medicines, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Bausch Health and Arbutus Biopharma also released earnings reports Thursday morning.