Denmark's Lundbeck has posted its strongest-ever set of financial results for 2007, boosted by a couple of two one-off payments from Japanese partner Takeda, but fears still remain regarding the strength of the firm’s pipeline.

Net income leapt 60% to 1.77 billion Danish kroner, about $361.2 million, boosted by the aforementioned payments from Takeda which relate to the firms’ recently-signed anxiety disorder pact and totalled 420 million kroner. However Lundbeck also suffered a 381 million kroner writedown on the value of its manufacturing unit in Seal Sands, UK.

The company said that the development of “an optimised production process for one of Lundbeck's pharmaceuticals” means it can consolidate production at two factories instead of three. As a result, it is “investigating the opportunities for divesting the facility in an attempt to keep production at the Seal Sands site” but if these fail, “a closedown of the facility may become a reality during 2008.”

Revenues for 2007 were up 19% to 10.99 billion kroner, helped by another strong showing of the blockbuster antidepressant Lexapro (escitalopram), sold in the USA by licensee Forest Laboratories, which had sales of 2.59 billion kroner, up 35%. Turnover of Lundbeck's own Cipralex brand of the antidepressant advanced 17% to 4.09 billion kroner.

The Alzheimer's disease drug Ebixa (memantine) climbed 22% to 1.66 billion kroner, while sales of Azilect (rasagiline) leapt 136% to 168 million kroner. Chief executive Claus Braestrup said that Lundbeck did well in all regions and “this satisfactory performance provides a strong foundation for continuing the development of our broad R&D pipeline."

In terms of R&D, Lundbeck noted that Lu AA21004 for depression has moved into Phase III trials, while Lu AA24530 for the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders went into Phase II in October. The insomnia treatment Circadin (melatonin), licensed-in from Israel's Neurim Pharmaceuticals, should be launched in Europe later this year and Lundbeck still has high hopes for the investigational stroke drug desmoteplase, which failed a late-stage trial last June.

However analysts are still concerned that the pipeline is still not strong enough to help the firm overcome the patent expirations for Cipralex and Lexapro that are coming in 2012 through 2014. Investors were also disappointed with Lundbeck’s forecasts for 2008, which should see operating profit of 2.8-2.9 billion kroner and sales of 11-11.5 billion kroner. The share price was down just over 4% to 112.75 kroner.