Almirall has posted its financials for the first quarter and while profits sank, the Spanish drugmaker has high hopes for the second half of the year.

Net income fell 44.3% to 10.2 million euros, "due to investment in new product launches," while turnover, hit by Spanish healthcare reforms and generics, was down 10.2% to 198.3 million euros. The Barcelona-based group gave hardly any details about the breakdown of sales by product and did not respond to a request by PharmaTimes World News for more information.

However, Almirall did note that total revenues included other income of 28 million euros "mainly associated" with its chronic obstructive pulmonary disease drug Eklira (aclidinium). Chief executive Eduardo Sanchiz said "sales improvement will become apparent in the second half of the year given the effect of the reforms implemented in Spain in 2012 together with the increasing acceleration of the new products sales, especially aclidinium".

Alongside Eklira, Almirall has two other main drugs, namely the multiple sclerosis spray Sativex (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol), licensed from GW Pharmaceuticals, and Constella (linaclotide), licensed from Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, for chronic constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. Mr Sanchiz said that "we expect more than 30 country launches in 2013 of these three assets".

He noted that Almirall and partner Forest Laboratories will file their aclidinium/formoterol combo in Europe and the USA later this year. Further down the pipeline, LAS41008 for psoriasis and Sativex in cancer pain, are in Phase III, while abediterol, a once-daily long-acting beta-adrenergic agonist, combined with an inhaled corticosteroid, for asthma and COPD, is entering Phase IIb trials. Almirall said the drug is ready to be partnered worldwide, excluding the USA where it is licensed to Forest.