Nycomed has posted a 0.7% decrease in turnover for the third quarter to 814.6 million euros, a healthy result given the effects of generic competition to its gastrointestinal drug pantoprazole.
The Swiss privately-held drugmaker noted that the sales decline of pantoprazole in Europe has actually decreased and is experiencing strong sales in emerging markets, especially in Russia/Commonwealth of Independent States and Latin America, namely Brazil. However sales of the drug in the USA, where it is sold as Protonix and marketed by Pfizer, "have sharply decreased".
A lengthy legal battle is ongoing regarding patent infringement of Protonix by Teva and Sun and recent judgements have sided with Nycomed which could be looking at pocketing damages of up to $2 billion, analysts have argued. However certain cases are outstanding, so the tussle in the courts is not over yet.
Much of Nycomed's future success is dependent on its recently-launched chronic obstructive pulmonary disease treatment Daxas (roflumilast) will last. The company said the market introduction of Daxas in Europe is "promising", and Nycomed’s US
partner Forest Laboratories has submitted a response to the US Food and Drug Administration addressing topics raised in the complete response letter regarding the drug. A response from the agency is expected in the first quarter of 2011.
Nycomed’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation reached 213.5 million euros, down 12.6%. However chief executive Hakan Bjorklund said he was "very satisfied" with the Zurich-headquartered group's performance as it "demonstrates that our strategy of focusing on emerging markets and specialty products is delivering results".
He claimed the recent acquisition of the majority stake in Guangdong Techpool Bio- Pharma "underlines Nycomed’s Asian growth strategy and provides us with access to a leading, high-quality manufacturer of innovative products and creates an enhanced commercialisation base for Nycomed products in China". Mr Bjorklund also noted that the company has recently opened its newly expanded manufacturing facility for active pharmaceutical ingredients in Mumbai, India, operated through a joint venture with Zydus Cadila. "This is a significant step forward to getting high quality APIs in Nycomed’s branded generic portfolio produced at competitive costs", he said.
Mr Bjorklund concluded by saying full-year revenues will be adversely influenced by the effect of pantoprazole’s loss of exclusivity "and price-cutting measures which have been announced by authorities in several markets.”