French drugmaker Ipsen said its net profits rose by more than a quarter to 149 million euros last year, as sales rose a little over 7% to 807 million euros, held back by pricing pressure in western European markets.

The company, which floated on the stock exchange in December, said the growth in sales was driven by its Somatuline (lanreotide) range of drugs for acromegaly and and neuroendocrine tumours, rising 13% to 82 million euros, Dysport (botulinum toxin type A) for wrinkles which rose 12% to 93 million euros, and Decapeptyl (triptorelin pamoate) for prostate cancer, up 6% to 211 million euros.

The launch of Ipsen’s sustained-release Somatuline Autogel formulation in France, the UK, Greece and Italy accounted for two thirds of the growth in the range.

Ipsen also said that its spending on R&D rose by nearly 19% in 2005 as it conducted Phase III trials programmes on Somatuline and Dysport in the USA and continued the development of BIM 51077, a drug for diabetes partnered with Roche.