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GSK delivers strong quarterly performance

Published on 09/08/06 at 04:15pm

GlaxoSmithKline's pharmaceutical sales rose by 10% in this year's second quarter earning the company a total of five billion pounds.

Sales in Europe were affected by generic competition to several key products including the epilepsy drug Lamictal, the migraine treatment Imigran, and Zofran, the company's anti-nausea drug for chemotherapy patients.

However, continued strong growth from the company's asthma drug Seretide and diabetes product Avandia - along with its vaccines (including Havrix to prevent hepatitis A) - offset this impact with overall sales in Europe at 1.4 billion pounds for this period, on a par with last year's second quarter sales.

JP Garnier, GSK's chief executive said: "GSK has had another successful quarter with pharmaceutical sales growth of 10%, driving an excellent financial performance."

He added: "The pipeline is progressing well and we have also just received outstanding efficacy data for our H5N1 pandemic vaccine. These results are highly significant and mark real progress in our aspiration to develop a vaccine for use in preparing for an influenza pandemic."

The biggest money-spinner was the company's number one product, Seretide/Advair, for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Sales rose 12% to 822 million pounds in the second quarter. GSK received FDA approval for the Advair HFA metered dose inhaler in June, and the drug is expected to be launched in the US later this year.

Three rising stars, Requip, for Parkinson's Disease/restless legs syndrome, Avodart for the treatment of enlarged prostate and Boniva for osteoporosis, saw strong growth, with combined sales of 134 million pounds.

Two major candidates entered phase III development during the second quarter. Clinical trials, involving more than 2,500 patients, are assessing the use of Avandia in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. This is a novel approach to treat the illness, based on the growing body of scientific evidence that sufferers have reduced glucose metabolism in the brain. Phase III trials for Redona, GSK's DPP-IV inhibitor for the treatment of type II diabetes, also started during the quarter.

Six other candidates, including Promacta, a novel oral platelet growth factor, are due to enter phase III before the end of the year.

GSK's new intranasal steroid for allergic rhinitis was filed in the US in June and in Europe in July and phase III trials for Entereg in the treatment of opiod-induced GI side-effects are ongoing, and a filing for this indication is expected next year.

The company revealed that it has dropped the development of radafazine for the treatment of depression following a poor risk/benefit assessment.













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