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Lundbeck still feeling effects from Cipralex patent loss

The antidepressant sales dropped another 33% in the third quarter

Lundbeck HQ

New products launched by Lundbeck over recent years were not enough to compensate for poor performance in the third quarter, although the company made big gains in the US.

Revenues fell 6% to 10.22bn Danish krone ($1.71bn) as generics continued to take their toll on former big seller antidepressant Cipralex (escitalopram), which lost another 33% of sales to reach 983m krone.

The sale of a block of mature products in the US as well as a big spend on new product launches also had an impact as its operating profit was cut almost in half to 402m krone.

The company said in a statement: “Lundbeck is investing significantly in product launches and in the late stage development pipeline while being in the midst of a transition period."

On the plus side, the company recorded buoyant growth in the US market - up 44% - and it now makes up a quarter of Lundbeck's overall revenues. Leading the upward trend was Xenazine (tetrabenazine) for the treatment of chorea associated with Huntington's disease - up 27% to 440m krone - and Onfi (clobazam) for Lennox-Gastaut syndrome which added 219m krone, a rise of 40%.

Epilepsy treatment Sabril (vigabatrin) also had a good quarter with sales climbing 42% to 186m krone and Lundbeck also booked 59m krone from antidepressant Brintellix (vortioxetine) in the quarter, although it said in-market sales of the drug - which is sold by Takeda in the US - have reached almost 500m krone since it was launched in January.

The company said the new antidepressant - a successor to Cipralex - has been prescribed to 250,000 patients since launch.  Analysts have suggested the drug could make $1bn to $2bn at peak.

There were also gains for Lundbeck's new schizophrenia drug Abilify Maintena (aripiprazole) - although the company did not reveal figures - and the start of contributions from alcohol dependency treatment Selincro (nalmefene) and Northera (droxidopa) for a rare blood pressure disorder, which launched in the US last month. The latter two drugs added 15m krone apiece in the third quarter.

Ulf Wiinberg, the company's chief executive, said: "We are in the middle of our most extensive launch efforts in the history of Lundbeck, and have until now had 25 launches of new products, and expect to have more than 50 launches during the next 12 months.”

Article by
Phil Taylor

5th November 2014

From: Sales



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