French drugmaker Ipsen has posted a 12% decline in profits for the first half of 2007 but says that it is still on track to meet its full-year targets.

Ipsen noted that net income fell to 78 million euros on revenues which were up 4.5% at 499 million euros, driven by sales of its Somatuline (lanreotide) range of drugs for acromegaly and neuroendocrine tumours, Dysport (botulinum toxin type A) for wrinkles and the recombinant human growth hormone NutropinAq (controlled-release somatropin. The reasons for the earnings decline included higher taxes, lower prices and expenses related to Tercica, the US endocrinology specialist in which Ipsen has a 25% stake.

The firm’s president, Jean-Luc Belingard, said that “despite a yet more difficult environment, where price pressure and competition have further increased,” Ipsen “achieved a sound sales growth performance”. He argued that the financial results “are fully in line with our full year objectives and reflect our key strategic decisions, notably to continue to actively

invest in R&D” and to create an endocrinology platform in North America through its dealings with Tercica.

He went on to say that these decisions “are fully validated by our news flow”, notably the European approval for Increlex (mecasermin), a new product to treat a growth disorder in youngsters. The performance of other products should offset the 10% price decrease implemented on its gingko biloba extract Tanakan in France, Mr Belingard concluded, and “we look forward to the second half of 2007 with confidence”.