Eli Lilly has posted a loss for the third quarter, but sales showed a healthy rise driven again by the antidepressant Cymbalta.

Thre firm’s net loss of $465.6 million, compared with income of $926.3 million in the like, year-earlier period, which is a result of the $1.48 billion charge Lilly announced earlier this week relating to the possible settlement of investigations in the USA of oits previous marketing practices for the schizophrenia drug Zyprexa (olanzapine). However sales rose 14% to $5.21 billion, in line with analyst estimates.

The main reason for the rise was the strong performance of the antidepressant and fibromyalgia blockbuster Cymbalta (duloxetine), which increased 40% to $716.4 million. Sales of the erectile dysfunction drug Cialis (tadalafil) also impressed, bringing in $376.6 million, up 21%.

However Lilly’s best-selling drug continues to be Zyprexa, which had turnover of $1.19 billion, up 2%, with generic competition in Canada and Germany being offset by demand in Japan and several European markets. US sales of the treatment were up 3%.

Of the firm’s other drugs, the insulin products Humalog and Humulin rose 19% and 12% to $432.6 million and $271.6 million respectively. Gemzar (gemcitabine) was up 12% to $440.2 million and another cancer drug Alimta (pemetrexed) increased 46% to $313.9 million.

The osteoporosis drug Evista (raloxifene), which is also approved for the prevention of breast cancer for certain postmenopausal women, had revenues of $265.7 million, up 1%, while sales of Lilly’s other osteoporosis treatment Forteo (teriparatide) increased 7% to $192.7 million. The type 2 diabetes treatment Byetta (exenatide), which is sold in partnership with Amylin, had worldwide sales of $201.2 million, up 22%, and $109.2 million (+25%) of that was booked by Lilly.

Chief executive John Lechleiter said that over the past few quarters, Lilly “has taken significant actions to advance our pipeline, increase productivity and transform our business model". He added that the proposed acquisition of ImClone BioSystems “would create a leading oncology franchise and strengthen our biotechnology capabilities” and “we will continue to look for other opportunities that align with our business strategy”.

Mr Lechleiter said the strong fundamentals of the business has led Lilly to raise its full-year earnings guidance excluding items (especially the Zyprexa charges) from $3.85-$4 per share to $3.97-$4.02.