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Profits down at Lundbeck as revenues slip

Company still feeling effects of Lexapro patent loss
Lundbeck HQ

Lundbeck's third-quarter revenues continued to be weighed down by generic competition, but buoyant sales of newer products put it on track for a return to growth.

The company posted a net profit of 267m Danish krone (about €35m) on revenues down 2 per cent to 3.56bn Danish krone in the third quarter as generic competition continued to bite at antidepressant Lexapro (escitalopram) in the US, where it is sold by Forest Labs.

A year ago the company's net profit stood at 426m Danish krone, with the decline this quarter attributed to ongoing restructuring expenses, impairment charges related to disappointing sales of antipsychotic Sycrest/Saphris (asenapine) in the US by Merck & Co, and the recent EU pay-for-delay fine.

Lexapro sales plunged another 61 per cent in the quarter to 21m Danish krone, although Lundbeck's Cipralex brand of the drug sold outside the US held up well, rising 5 per cent to 1.46bn Danish krone. There were also downturns for other mature brands, such as Alzheimer's disease drug Ebixa (memantine), which fell 37 per cent to 423m Danish krone on generic competition in Europe.

Among Lundbeck's newer products, Xenazine (tetrabenazine) for chorea associated with Huntington's disease rose 9 per cent to 346m Danish krone and epilepsy treatment Sabril (vigabatrin) added another 131m Danish krone, up 7 per cent. The star of the show was Onfi (clobazam) for a form of epilepsy called Lennox Gastaut-syndrome which continued its meteoric rise with a 122 per cent leap to 157m Danish krone.

All eyes are on the performance of Cipralex successor Brintellix (vortioxetine) - which was approved at the end of September - along with other recent launches, such as alcoholism therapy Selincro (nalmefene) and depot antipsychotic Abilify Maintena (aripiprazole).

Lundbeck said uptake of Abilify Maintena is "encouraging", although it did not break out sales figure for the drug, which reached the US market in March 2013 and has been recommended for approval in the EU. Meanwhile, Selincro's first launch (in the Netherlands) and Brintellix' roll-out came too late to impact on the third-quarter figures.

Lundbeck´s president and chief executive Ulf Wiinberg said: "This has been yet another strong period for Lundbeck - from a financial, regulatory and clinical development perspective."

Article by
Phil Taylor

7th November 2013

From: Sales

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