Having announced a five-fold increase in profits for the first quarter last month, Germany’s Bayer has been giving details about the products that have driven that growth.

The Leverkusen-based firm noted that sales of Betaferon/Betaseron (interferon beta 1b) for multiple sclerosis, from its recent acquisition of Schering AG, reached 244 million euros, a pro forma rise of 9.9%, while revenues from the Yasmin (ethinyl estradiol/drospirenone) contraceptive franchise hit 240 million euros, up 41.1%. The erectile dysfunction drug Levitra (vardenafil), was up 14.7% to 84 million euros, while sales of the haemophilia agent Kogenate (recombinant antihaemophilic factor), rose 3.2% at currency adjusted rates to 201 million euros. Turnover of the antibiotic Avelox (moxifloxacin) was 128 million euros, up 3.8%.

Bayer had earlier revealed that net income for the first quarter leapt to 2.8 billion euros from 600 million euros for the same period last year, though this was helped by a one-time gain of 2.2 billion euros, while group sales rose 23% to 8.3 billion euros. 3.6 billion euros of that came from Bayer HealthCare.

The company was also enthusiastic about the performance of Nexavar (sorafenib), which is currently approved as a treatment for advanced kidney cancer, and brought in 47 million euros, up from 20 million euros in the corresponding period last year. There was one blot on the sales sheet, however, with the performance of Trasylol (aprotinin), which is used to reduce blood loss during heart surgery. Revenues fell 4.4% (though no sales figure was given), hurt by the US Food and Drug Administration's insistence on a new label which highlights the possible risk of kidney damage associated with taking the drug