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Lundbeck cuts R&D as sales continue to rise

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lundbeck saw its sales rise 9% in the second-quarter, continuing a run of revenue growth on the back of gains for Alzheimer’s disease treatment Ebixa and a good showing for antidepressant Lexapro in the US, according to PharmaTimes.

Second-quarter operating profit rose 18% to 1.1 billion Danish kroner (about $211 million) on the back of sales up 13% at constant exchange rates to 4.1 billion kroner. The Danish drug maker now expects to post revenue at the top end of its 15.3-15.8 billion kroner forecast for 2011 as a whole.

Lundbeck’s increased profitability of late has come in part on the back of a restructuring of its R&D operations and greater emphasis on outsourcing. That process looks set to continue, with the company saying it plans to reduce its permanent R&D headcount by 125-175, with most of the cuts coming from its Danish headquarters and an R&D facility in New Jersey, US.

“This is something we very much regret, but it is necessary in order to strengthen our long term growth prospects,” commented chief executive Ulf Wiinberg.

Product sales continued with ‘solid momentum’, according to Lundbeck, with flagship antidepressant Cipralex  climbing 2% while the US version of the product, sold by Forest Laboratories as Lexapro , advanced 13%, thanks largely to price rises and increased bulk deliveries. The Alzheimer’s disease drug Ebixa  climbed 16%, while sales of Azilect for Parkinson’s disease rose 12%.

Lundbeck’s newer products also made gains. Xenazine posted sales up 42%, while epilepsy drug Sabril showed an increase of 113%.

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