UK-based drugmaker Prostrakan has posted a 41% jump in revenues for the year ended December 31, 2009, driven by strong product sales and a rise in partnering income.

The group posted revenues of £79 million for the year, a sizeable jump from the £56.1 million recorded for 2008, which helped to slash operating losses by more than 50% to £9.6 million.

Product sales leapt 38% to £74.4 million, given a helping hand by favourable currency exchange effects as well as the first year’s turnover of Abstral - ProStrakan’s new, sub-lingual formulation of fentanyl for breakthrough cancer pain - which pulled in £5.8 million “significantly outperforming” initial expectations.

But other products in the group’s portfolio also fared well in 2009: sales of Rectogesic, which is indicated for the relief of pain associated with chronic anal fissures, grew 27% to £8.1 million; turnover of Xomolix (also branded as Droperidol), for the prevention and treatment of post-operative nausea and vomiting, also jumped 27% to £7.5 million; and revenues of Tostran, a transdermal testosterone gel used in male hypogonadis, leapt 40% to £2.1 million.

Commenting on the results, ProStrakan chief executive Wilson Totten said the company has now established itself as “a broad-based, international specialty pharmaceuticals business with a strong European operation and a developing US business”, and added: “With two products in registration in the US and one further US refiling scheduled for the mid year, we remain firmly focused on growing the business profitably.”

Axis-Shield posts profit growth
Meanwhile, Dundee, Scotland-based Axis-Shield also posted a fairly healthy-looking set of results for 2009, with sales and profit growth and debt reduction key achievements.

The group posted a 13.4% increase in revenues to £96.7 million, as sales of its Afinion test for high sensitivity C-Reactive Protein, an important marker for cardiovascular disease, rocketed 72.1% to £14.8 million. And Afinion looks set to make the company even more cash this year as ProStrakan has reached a deal with Abbott Laboratories to buy back rights in the US, allowing the firm to sell the product through its own marketing team under a commercialisation acceleration programme.

Solid growth in sales helped drive underlying earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation up 45% to £15.7 million, while pre-tax profits swelled 80% to £8.1 million, enabling ProStrakan to reduce its net debt to £4.9 million from £7.5 million in 2008.

Looking to the future, group chairman Nigel Keen said further progress is anticipated for 2010 and “in the absence of unforeseen circumstances and dependent upon satisfactory results, the Board anticipates that it will be in a position to propose a maiden dividend at or around the time of the publication of the results for the year ending 31 December 2010”.