Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has posted another healthy set of financials for the first quarter, boosted by the contribution of recently-acquired Barr Pharmaceuticals.

Net income leapt from $139 million to $451 million, although excluding one-off items related mainly to the Barr acquisition, it was up 4% to $634 million while earnings per share fell 4% to $0.71. Sales jumped 22% to $3.15 billion, boosted by the launch of a generic version of Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp’s acne drug Solodyn (minocycline) in the quarter, as well as continued strong sales of copycat versions of Novartis’ blood-pressure-lowering treatment Lotrel (almodipine/benazepril), Bayer’s contraceptive Yasmin (drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol), Wyeth’s antiulcerant Protonix (pantoprazole) and Johnson & Johnson’s fentanyl-filled painkiller patches Duragesic.

The company noted that as of April 27, it had 197 product applications awaiting final US Food and Drug Administration approval. The company believes it will be the first to file on 84 of these applications, relating to products whose annual US branded sales are worth $53 billion. In Europe, Teva has 235 compounds pending submission in 477 formulations.

The company’s branded business was again dominated by Copaxone (glatiramer acetate). The multiple sclerosis treatment brought in $621 million, an increase of 15%, helped by strong growth in the USA. Sales of Azilect (rasagiline) for Parkinson’s disease reached $55 million, up 50%, while global respiratory revenues were up 9% at $185 million. Teva's women's health business, which was acquired as part of the Barr purchase, had sales of $97 million, up 39%.

Chief executive Shlomo Yanai said the firm got off to a very strong start “as we delivered growth throughout our various businesses and geographies”. He added that the Barr integration “is proceeding ahead of schedule, and we now believe that we will derive even more value from this acquisition than we originally expected."

Mr Yanai concluded by saying that Teva's strong performance in the first quarter, “despite the foreign exchange effect on our top line, makes us very optimistic about the remainder of 2009”.