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Lundbeck S/A.

LUNDBECK S/A. (Copenhagen, Denmark) said a forecast-beating rise in sales of its blockbuster drug Cipralex boosted the drugmaker's fourth-quarter operating profit, though a writedown kept it below expectations. The firm said wider healthcare reforms during the economic crisis risked affecting results this year but still predicted higher sales and profits than in 2009. Fourth-quarter operating profit nearly doubled to 408 million Danish crowns ($75 million), below analysts' estimates of 553 million. Adjusted for a 157 million crown writedown of rights to insomnia drug Circadin, which Lundbeck obtained in 2007, the result roughly matched expectations. "We have focused on increasing our drugs sales and at the same time keeping costs under control, and both succeeded," said CEO Ulf Wiinberg, commenting on the full-year 2009.

Lundbeck gets most revenue from antidepressant Cipralex, which is sold in the United States by partner Forest Laboratories Inc. (New York) as Lexapro. Sales of that drug are at risk of collapsing in the face of competition from generic rivals as patents expire between 2012 and 2014, so Lundbeck is working to replace it with new products. Cipralex sales, which in the third quarter suffered from fiercer competition from imitation rival drugs, were up 18% to 1.35 billion crowns, topping expectations of an 11% rise. Lundbeck's Lexapro revenues were up 18%, to 600 million crowns, lagging a forecast 24%. Group revenues in the fourth quarter were also driven by high sales growth for Alzheimer's disease drug Ebixa and Parkinson's disease drug Azilect, Lundbeck said. Company shares closed the week up 0.95 Danish crowns, or 1%, at 97.45 crowns. ($1=5.445 Danish crowns)
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Title Annotation:CORPORATE
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Mar 8, 2010
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