US drugmaker Forest Laboratories has reported a drop in revenues for its fiscal second quarter as its antidepressant, Celexa (citalopram), all but gave up the fight against its generic rivals.
Revenues fell 16% to $736 million dollars, with turnover of Celexa down a massive 98% following the entry of generic competition in the USA towards the end of last year [[02/11/04e]]. The result was that Forest’s net income fell nearly 70% to $205 million, or 59 cents per share, from 79 cents a share a year earlier. Revenues still came in a little higher than consensus estimates, however,
Forest's total antidepressant franchise brought in $472 million, with Celexa follow-up Lexapro boosted 13% to $467 million – not as much as some analysts had hoped - and Celexa topping up the tally with just $4.4 million, down from $256 million a year ago. Licensed sales of generic citalopram contributed $676,000.
On a more positive note, sales of Namenda (memantine), an NMDA receptor antagonist for the treatment of moderate-to-severe Alzheimer's disease, increased 53% to $124 million during the period. Meanwhile, earnings from Forest’s co-promotion agreement with Sankyo Pharma, for the antihypertensive therapies Benicar (olmesartan) and Benicar HCT (olmesartan plus hydrochlorothiazide), added $31.2 million.
Forest said it is still predicting full-year EPS of about $2.30, with revenues of $3.0 billion, including $1.9 billion from Lexapro. The company is in the throes of a patent challenge from Ivax Pharmaceuticals on Lexapro that is due to come to trial in December [[29/04/05f]].