Salix Pharmaceuticals suffered a blow yesterday after revealing that a co-promotion deal with Altana Pharma US for Xifaxan (rifaximin) has ended early because of the latter’s decision to re-align its efforts in the respiratory area. However, Salix stressed that its guidance for 2005 would not change on the news.

Carolyn Logan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Salix, stated: “Our confidence with regard to Xifaxan continues to grow as we see increasing acceptance and utilization of the product. Xifaxan achieved all-time highs of new and total prescriptions for the week ended August 5, 2005."

Last month, Salix initiated a study of Xifaxan in preventing travellers’ diarrhoea, with a second study in this area slated to begin later this year in Asia. It also intends to explore the use of Xifaxan in C. difficile-associated diarrhea, hepatic encephalopathy and irritable bowel syndrome by the end of 2005. And, into 2006, Xifaxan will be investigated in Crohn’s disease.

For the full year, Salix continues to expect total product revenue and earnings per share for 2005 - excluding any effects from the proposed acquisition of InKine Pharmaceutical later in the year - to be in the range of $150 to $155 million and at least $0.60.