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Europe brings down Baxter sales in third-quarter

Offsets sales growth in US driven by Advate and Gammagard Liquid

Baxter building

Baxter International reported flat sales of $3.5bn in the third quarter, with recent acquisitions and sales gains in the US and emerging markets offset by weak product demand in Europe.

Sales growth was driven by haemophilia A treatment Advate (recombinant factor VIII) and Gammagard Liquid (immune globulin), which both posted double-digit gains and helped Baxter post a modest 1 per cent profit increase to $583m.

Advate benefitted from expanded labelling to include routine prophylaxis of bleeding episodes in adults with haemophilia A, while Gammagard Liquid's growth came after a concerted drive to raise awareness of primary immune deficiency, its main indication.

Meanwhile, Baxter's recent acquisitions of surgical tool company Synovis and parenteral drug specialist Baxa also boosted revenues to the tune of around $65m in the quarter, said chief financial officer Robert Hombach.

Europe, however, was a big drag on revenues, said Hombach. While Baxter expected a "flattish" performance in 2012 there seems to be a softening in the market in the latter half which means that sales will be down for the year as a whole, he said.

Looking at its product categories, sales of recombinant drugs rose 5 per cent to $555m, plasma proteins fell 9 per cent to $337m and antibody therapies came in at $404m, a rise of 6 per cent. Medical product sales were flat at $1.96bn.

"Our businesses continue to be supported by the medically-necessary nature of our portfolio and therapies, growing global demand, and our broad global presence," commented Baxter's chief executive Robert Parkinson.

He also pointed to positive developments in the firm's late-stage pipeline, including the prospects for its recombinant factor IX product BAX 326 for haemophilia B which was recently filed for approval and, if approved, will be the only drug of its type indicated for prophylaxis treatment in the US, where most patients today are treated on demand.

The company is also developing a home dialysis device which could be submitted for approval in Europe next year, and has been bolstering its pipeline with licensing deals.

These include a deal with Onconova for European rights to myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) drug rigosertib, and the activation of a third candidate in its biosimilar alliance with Momenta Pharmaceuticals.

"Our company's strong financial position provides continued flexibility to invest in innovation, advance our new product pipeline, and pursue new business development opportunities to enhance future growth," said Parkinson.

19th October 2012

From: Sales

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