Days after advisors to the US Food and Drug Administration recommended approval for its chronic obstructive pulmonary disease drug aclidinium bromide, Spain's Almirall has posted its financials for last year and expressed high hopes for 2012.

The Spanish drugmaker noted that adjusted net income fell 28.4% to 97.9 million euros in 2011, while turnover, hit by Spanish healthcare reformes and generics, was down 12.9% to 768.4 million euros. Sales of the antihistamine Ebastel (ebastine) dipped 1.1% to 116.2 million euros.

Among the products Almirall sells under licence in Spain, the cholesterol drug Prevencor (atorvastatin), ie Pfizer’s Lipitor, slumped 58.2% to 30.5 million euros, hit by generics, as were   sales of the antidepressant Esertia (escitalopram), licensed from Lundbeck, which sank 50.1% to 30.6 million euros.

Revenues from Almirall’s own migraine treatment Almorgran (almotriptan) were up 3.1% at 49.7 million euros, while Solaraze (diclofenac) for actinic keratosis, licensed from SkyePharma, enjoyed a 7.7% sales rise to 26.6 million euros.

However, the company is most excited by its new products, notably aclidinium, which is partnered with Forest Laboratories in the USA. Last week, the FDA's Pulmonary-Allergy Drugs Advisory Committee voted 12-2 in favour of the long-acting antimuscarinic which, if approved, will challenge Boehringer Ingelheim's blockbuster Spiriva (tiotropium), which is marketed by Pfizer.

Almirall also noted that the multiple sclerosis spray Sativex (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol), licensed from GW Pharmaceuticals, is being rolled out across Europe, while it expects to hear from regulators soon about linaclotide, licensed from Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, for chronic constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. Also, a deal has just been struck to sell Bayer's anticoagulant Xarelto (rivaroxaban) in Spain.

Chief executive Eduardo Sanchiz said that with six new products in less than two years, "a new medicine cycle is unfolding and rejuvenating our portfolio". Its anticipated forthcoming launches have "unprecedented sales potential" and 2012 will see the company creating a "momentum through this potentially transformational period for the company”.