US generics specialist Barr Pharmaceuticals, which is in the process of being acquired by Israel’s Teva, has posted a healthy set of financials boosted by its sales of oral contraceptives.

The company noted that net income was up nearly 27% to $57 million, or $0.52 per share, while revenues rose 23% to $779 million. Sales of generics in North America increased 15% to $340 million.

That latter figure was driven by sales of generic oral contraceptives jumped 34% to $155 million, which reflected the launch of Barr’s copycat but authorised versions of Bayer’s Yasmin (drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol), sold as Ocella. Generic revenues from Europe and the rest of the world came in at $217 million, up 15%, due to the positive impact of foreign currency exchange fluctuations.

Sales of Barr's brand-name drugs rose 16% to $118 million, boosted by its Seasonique oral contraceptive. The company said it has an extensive proprietary pipeline that includes four products in Phase III studies and four New Drug Applications pending at the US Food and Drug Administration.

At the end of June, Barr had 70 Abbreviated New Drug Applications at the FDA targeting branded pharmaceutical products with $29 billion in sales. The company also had approximately 350 product registrations on 89 molecules, pending with regulatory bodies overseas.

Barr’s chief executive Bruce Downey said that substitution rates on Ocella “have started off strong” and this will continue through the second half of 2008 “while we remain the only generic available on the US market”.