France’s Ipsen has posted a 5.4% increase in first-quarter sales to 238.9 million euros, a pleasing result considering the slowdown it is suffering in the major western European markets.

Ipsen noted that the revenue rise was driven by sales of Decapeptyl (triptorelin pamoate) for prostate cancer, though sales actually dipped 0.6% compared to a strong first quarter in 2007 to 60.8 million euros. Its Somatuline (lanreotide) range of drugs for acromegaly and neuroendocrine tumours was up 12.6% to 28.4 million euros and sales of Dysport (botulinum toxin type A) for wrinkles increased 24.9% to 35.6 million euros. The recombinant human growth hormone NutropinAq (controlled-release somatropin) soared 25.3% to 7.2 million euros.

Ipsen said that the results were hurt by the fact that European governments continue “to introduce various measures to reduce public healthcare spending”, which affected sales. Specifically, the firm is still suffering the effects of a 10% price cut on gingko biloba extract Tanakan in France and a price increase in the UK from 6.7 % to 9.6% for Dysport, Somatuline and NutropinAq.

In terms of pipeline, Ipsen and its US partner Medicis recently resubmitted a Biologics License Application to the US Food and Drug Administration for Dysport (where it will be known as Reloxin) in aesthetic indications and hopes to file its prostate cancer drug Acapodene (toremifene) in Europe by the end of the year.