Shares in Shire have climbed over 6% after the UK drugmaker posted third-quarter financials that showed strong sales growth for Vyvanse, its follow-up to the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drug Adderall XR.

Net income was down to $11.8 million compared to $34.7 million for the like, year-earlier period, but revenues for the second quarter increased 27.9% to $778.6 million, in line with analyst estimates. Growth was driven again by Adderall XR (mixed amphetamine salts), which enjoyed a sales increase of 8% to $268.7 million, despite a decline in US prescriptions.

Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate), launched in July 2007, contributed $96.0 million to the coffers, up 47% on the second quarter. The drug is key to the firm’s future as Adderall XR could face generic competition from April 2009.

As for Shire’s ADHD patch product Daytrana (methylphenidate), sales were up 93% to $18.1 million, while revenues from Elaprase (idursulfase) for Hunter syndrome reached $78.2 million, up 42%. Turnover from Fosrenol (lanthanum carbonate) for high blood phosphate levels was up 50% to $43.0 million.

Replagal (agalsidase alfa), for the treatment of Fabry disease, contributed $44.6 million to the coffers, up 10%, while the ulcerative colitis therapy Pentasa (mesalamine) was up 13% to $49.2 million. The firm’s newer ulcerative colitis drug Lialda/Mezavant brought in $40.4 million, an increase of 148%, while Firazyr (icatibant), for acute attacks of hereditary angioedema, which Shire gained when it bought Germany’s Jerini and launched in Germany and the UK last month, had revenues of $200,000.

Chief executive Angus Russell noted that Shire’s new drugs are performing well and “we remain confident that these products will continue to deliver strong growth, driven in part by our geographical expansion into the important emerging markets”. He added that the firm remains highly cash generative and acknowledged that the credit crunch has thrown up more opportunities for possible acquisitions of biotechnology companies.

Full-year revenues should rise by at least 20%, though Vyvanse revenues will be in the area of $310-$330 million, down from a forecast made three months ago of sales at the lower end of a range of $350-$400 million. However the firm said it was more than happy with the take-up of Vyvanse.

In 2009, Shire expects earnings of $3.00-3.40 per share, though this could be affected by generic versions of Adderall XR reaching the market and exchange rates which could hit profits by 7%.