Shire shares have soared on the back of a strong set of second-quarter figures which saw net income up 8.5% to $258.1 million, while revenues rose 7% to $1.23 billion, ahead of analyst estimates.

Turnover was driven by the attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder drug Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate), which climbed 13% to $300.3 million. Its off-patent predecessor Adderall XR (mixed amphetamine salts) fell 16% to $112.3 million, while another ADHD drug, Intuniv (guanfacine), had sales of $90.4 million (+31%). As for Shire's rare diseases portfolio, Replagal (agalsidase alfa) for Fabry disease fell 7% to $114.0 million due to competition in Europe from Sanofi-owned Genzyme's Fabrazyme (agalsidase beta) which has fixed its manufacturing problems.

Vpriv (velaglucerase alfa) for Gaucher's disease was flat at $82.5 million, up 14%, while the Hunter Syndrome therapy Elaprase (idursulfase) leapt 22% to $149.2 million. Pentasa (mesalamine) was up 15% to $73.6.million and the firm’s newer ulcerative colitis drug Lialda/Mezavant soared 46% to $137.5 million.

Dermagraft, a regenerative bio-engineered skin substitute for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers, sank 57% to $22.3 million, but was up 21% on the first quarter.

Chief executive Flemming Ornskov said that "we've sharpened our focus on commercial excellence and we're enhancing our pipeline productivity". Two projects, one for refractory gastroesophageal reflux disease and a central nervous system disorder drug have been discontinued, but he has "increasing confidence" about the prospects for two Phase III treatments - lifitegrast and dry eye disease and a compound known as LDX for binge eating and major depressive disorders.

Investors like the look of the stock and the results pushed Shire shares to a record high before closing at £23.39, up 5.5% and topping the gainers list on the FTSE 100. Analysts at Morgan Stanley said:

We believe Shire can meet guidance to grow revenues more than 5% per annum, and deliver double-digit earnings per share growth. We believe the market continues to under-appreciate the global commercial potential of ADHD, and the label expansion opportunities for Vyvanse in depression and BED, as well as Phase III asset lifitegrast for dry eye.