Nycomed, which is going to be acquired by Japan's Takeda, has posted a 2.1% increase in turnover for the first quarter to 792.4 million euros, excluding a one-off payment of $182 million from partner Forest Laboratories for the US approval of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease treatment Daliresp, known elsewhere as Daxas.__

The Swiss privately-held drugmaker's adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation reached 312.4 million euros, up 34.0%, boosted by the Forest payment and it represents a reasonable result, given the effects of generic competition to its gastrointestinal drug pantoprazole. Sales of the latter fell 27.8% to 180.7 million euros, due principally to the loss of its patent in key European markets.

Despite this, Nycomed noted that in 14 of the 30 European countries where the product is marketed, sales of pantoprazole remain steady or higher, with Italy up 10.4%. Revenues from the drug in  Latin America and Asia Pacific/Africa/Middle East grew by 16.1% and 10.1% respectively over the same period.

The emerging markets made up almost 48% of Nycomed's turnover, with Russia/CIS registering growth of 34.9% to 139.5 million euros, while Latin America contributed 106 million euros, up 24.7 %. Sales in Asia Pacific/Africa/Middle East shot up 71.9% to 91.8 million euros.

Daxas sales 'in line with expectations'

As for Daxas (roflumilast), chief executive Hakan Bjorklund said that sales in Europe, where it is currently being rolled out, "were in line with our expectations and we are encouraged by the response from clinicians and patients." He noted that a number of other products performed well, particularly the haemostatic agent TachoSil (ibrinogen/thrombin) and Alvesco (ciclesonide).

Mr Bkorklund added that continued strong expansion in the "younger" markets, which we believe will be an engine for growth in our industry", helped to offset declines in Western Europe and the USA, "with Russia/CIS now our second-largest region after Europe". Asia Pacific/Middle East overtook North America in overall sales.

Regarding the proposed takeover by Takeda announced last week, Mr Bjorklund said the deal "will create a global player able to meet the needs of patients and healthcare providers around the world".