Lundbeck has posted a reasonable set of financials for the fourth quarter this morning with revenues being driven by higher-than-expected sales of its antidepressant blockbuster Cipralex.

Operating profit came in at 408 million Danish kroner, about $74.9 million, compared with 212 million kroner in the like, year-earlier period. Revenues reached 3.54 billion kroner, up 35% in local currencies.

Lexapro (escitalopram), sold in the USA by licensee Forest Laboratories, had sales of 600 million kroner, up 18%, while turnover of Lundbeck's own Cipralex brand of the antidepressant also advanced 18% to 1.35 billion kroner.

The Alzheimer's disease drug Ebixa (memantine) climbed 15% to 548 million kroner, while sales of Azilect (rasagiline), for Parkinson’s disease, leapt 33% to 225 million kroner. Xenazine (tetrabenazine) for the treatment of chorea associated with Huntington's disease, which was launched in the USA in November 2008, had sales of 116 million kroner.

Chief executive Ulf Wiinberg said that the firm’s key products continued to gain market share and “we have reached our financial expectations”. Last year, Lundbeck and partner Takeda suffered a setback after publishing disappointing news from late-stages trials of their new antidepressant Lu AA21004, forcing the postponement of a New Drug Application, but Mr Wiinberg claimed that “additional positive data have further strengthened our belief in the compound”.

A new programme for Lu AA21004, due to begin in the next few months, will consist of four Phase III studies including approximately 2,000 patients with moderate to severe depression in addition to a long-term extension study.

For 2010, Lundbeck expects operating profit of 3.0-3.4 billion kroner, up from 2.86 billion kroner for full-year 2009, while sales should reach14.3-14.8 billion kroner, compared with 13.7 billion kroner last year.