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New products help Lilly achieve flat Q4 sales

Effient and Alimta counter patent expiry to Zyprexa

Lilly headquarters

Sales gains and price increases for newer products helped Lilly weather the fallout caused by patent expiry to schizophrenia drug Zyprexa, with Q4 revenues down just one per cent to a little under $6bn.

Net income fell around 4 per cent to $827m, or $0.74 per share, thanks to a $122m charge related to Lilly's discontinuation of pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy Sollpura (liprotamase) and other restructuring costs but came in slightly ahead of analyst expectations.

Former $5bn-a-year blockbuster Zyprexa (olanzapine) declined 49 per cent to $384m compared to the same period during 2011, with antidepressant Cymbalta (duloxetine) taking away some of the sting with a 20 per cent increase to $1.42bn.

Also doing well was lung cancer drug Alimta (pemetrexed), which rose 7 per cent to $684m on higher demand and price increases, while osteoporosis treatment Forteo (teriparatide) was up 20 per cent to $315m.

Sales of anticoagulant Effient (prasugrel) also rose by a third to $121m, despite disappointing results from a clinical trial comparing it to mainstay drug clopidogrel in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS), while Lilly's animal health unit Elanco was up 18 per cent to $554m.

"Lilly delivered solid financial results in the fourth quarter of 2012, as we successfully offset a large part of the revenue decline from the Zyprexa patent expiration with growth in other products," said Lilly's chief executive John Lechleiter.

The company is facing another major issue later this year when it loses patent protection for Cymbalta, so desperately needs its late-stage pipeline to perform if it is to return to historical levels of revenue and profit growth.

Lechleiter noted on a conference call that Lilly has 13 drugs in phase III development, and is particularly excited about its oncology pipeline with ramucirumab for gastric and breast cancer and necitumumab for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) as well as diabetes candidates dulaglutide, empagliflozin and a new insulin glargine formulation, all of which will be filed for approval this year.

"This is the most robust mid to late stage pipeline in our history, and it positions us to drive growth post 2014," said Lechleiter.

The company has previously said it expects 2013 to be a positive year in financial terms, touting potential revenues of $22.6bn-$23.4bn during the year – slightly ahead of analyst expectations,

Shares in Lilly rose more than 3 per cent following the results presentation.

30th January 2013

From: Sales

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