German drugmaker Boehringer Ingelheim saw its revenues advance a healthy 17% to 5.3 billion euros in the first half of this year, on the back of a stellar performance by respiratory drug Spiriva.

However, the company warned that this momentum would be pegged back for the full-year, mainly because of the launch of generic versions of its anti-inflammatory drug Mobic (meloxicam) in the USA. First-half operating income rose by 34% to more than 1 billion euros.

Spiriva (tiotropium bromide) for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease brought in 640 million euros in the first half, a 55% increase on the same period of 2005, while blood pressure drug Micardis (telmisartan) rose 32% to 480 million euros. Mobic advanced a little over 6% to 460 million euros, although as generic competition in the USA did not start until late in July the impact of generic competition in the USA will be gauged only in the second half of the year.

Also performing well were Flomax/Alna (tamsulosin) for benign prostatic hyperplasia, up 22% to 450 million euros, while Sifrol/Mirapex (pramipexole) for Parkinson’s disease benefited from its recent approval in Europe for restless legs syndrome with a 33% hike in sales to 260 million euros.

Alessandro Banchi, Boehringer Ingelheim’s chairma, said: “Thanks to innovative drugs, the company succeeded in maintaining its above-average growth rate, despite the rather difficult business environment in a number of countries.”