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March 10 (Reuters) - Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc raised its profit and sales forecast for the year after the French government agreed to raise reimbursement payments for the company's treatment for two rare blood disorders.
The company's shares jumped about 5 percent before the bell.
The drug, Soliris, costs about $440,000 per patient a year and is the only approved treatment for two potentially fatal conditions that can damage vital organs including the kidneys, heart and brain.
Britain's healthcare costs watchdog earlier this month asked the biotechnology company to explain Soliris' expensive price before deciding whether the treatment should be paid for by the state health service.
Soliris, the company's sole product on the market, is approved in the United States, the European Union and Japan for the two conditions.
The drugmaker raised its full-year adjusted earnings forecast to $4.37-$4.47 per share from its previous estimate of $3.70-$3.80.
Alexion also raised its sales outlook to $2.15-$2.17 billion from its previous forecast of $2.00-$2.02 billion.
Analysts on average were expecting a profit of $3.89 per share on sales of $2.03 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Alexion said the earnings estimate includes 37 cents and $88 million attributable to sales related to years prior to 2014, which would be recorded in the first quarter.
Soliris recorded sales of $1.55 billion in 2013. Wall Street expects the drug to generate $3.1 billion a year by 2017.
The drug is also undergoing development for use in other "orphan" indications, or conditions that affect less than 200,000 people in the United States. The status ensures the company seven years of market exclusivity.
Cheshire, Connecticut-based Alexion's shares closed at $168.05 on the Nasdaq on Friday.
(Reporting by Natalie Grover in Bangalore)