Belgium’s UCB has seen its revenues and net sales for the first three months of the year drop 1% following US patent expiry of its anti-allergy drug Zyrtec (cetirizine) in December 2007 and continued pressure on its antiulcerant omeprazole from copycat medicines.

The recall of its Parkinson’s disease patch Neupro (rotigotine) in March also placed a marginal pressure on the figures but, despite this, UCB says its January to March results are broadly in line with its expectations because of double digit sales growth from the antiepileptic drug Keppra (levetiracetam), Xyzal (levocetirizine) and anti-allergy medicine Tussionex (hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine).

UCB launched its Crohn’s disease drug Cimzia (certolizumab pegol) in the USA in April – just 48 hours following Food and Drug Administration approval - which it hopes will help lift revenues going forward, although it is unlikely to achieve the once-touted blockbuster potential after Europe failed to give its support to the drug.

The Neupro recall in the USA is likely to be reflected in subsequent quarters but the full impact on the business is not yet known. UCB says it is currently reviewing its financial position for the full year and will update investors at its half-year review in August.