UCB has posted a reasonable set of financials for the first six months of the year, with newer products softening a decline in sales of the antiepileptic Keppra,

Revenues increased 2% to 3.25 billion euros, while underlying profitability was down 22% to 347 million euros due to launch activities and higher R&D expenses. Keppra (levetiracetam) sales fell 12% to 445 million euros, hit by generic competition in USA and Europe, although the drug sold well in Japan.

Cimzia (certolizumab pegol) for rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease had sales of 209 million euros, up 46%, while the antiepileptic Vimpat (lacosamide) brought in 150 million euros, an increase of 54%. Sales of the Neupro (rotigotine) patch for Parkinson’s disease and restless legs syndrome rose 20% to 54 million euros.

Chief executive Roch Doliveux (pictured) said that the latter three products have reached over 354,000 patients and brought in over 400 million euros. This performance "further confirms our ambition to reach more than 1.5 million patients with Cimzia, Vimpat and Neupro, with a peak sales target of at least 3.1 billion euros in the second half of the decade", he added.

Mr Doliveux said that this, and the solid contribution of Keppra, means UCB can "even further invest in our future growth as we have now three Phase III projects in clinical development". These include the sclerostin antibody CDP7851/AMG 785 for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis.