April 24 (Reuters) - Celgene Corp on Thursday reported lower first quarter profit on higher research and development costs and increased expenses for launching new medicines, although the company maintained its full year forecasts as sales also increased.
The U.S. biotechnology company posted a net profit of $280 million, or 66 cents per share, compared with a profit of $385 million, or 89 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding special items, Celgene had adjusted earnings of $1.67 per share. Analysts on average expected $1.65, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sales of Celgene's flagship multiple myeloma treatment Revlimid rose 14 percent to $1.14 billion for the quarter, which was about in line with Wall Street estimates.
The company said it has filed for U.S. and European approval to use the medicine as a first line treatment for multiple myeloma, a label expansion that is widely viewed as the next big sales catalyst for the drug.
(Reporting by Bill Berkrot, Editing by Franklin Paul)