Shire, the UK's third-largest drugmaker, has posted strong rises in earnings for the first quarter with good revenue growth coming from products both old and new.

Underlying net income leapt 43.8% to $131.6 million, while sales climbed 28.5% to $528 million, with revenue growth being driven once again by the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drug Adderall XR (mixed amphetamine salts). Its sales rose 21% to $249.1 million, while the ADHD patch product Daytrana (methylphenidate), which was launched in the USA last June, contributed $11.9 million, though that figure was impacted by the redemption of $7.2 million of coupons issued to support the launch. Shire will make regulatory filings in Europe for Daytrana in the second half of this year.

Sales of Elaprase (idursulfase) for Hunter syndrome, launched in August 2006, reached $26.6 million, while turnover from Fosrenol (lanthanum carbonate) for high blood phosphate levels soared 192% to $22.8 million, benefiting from a co-promotion deal signed with Abbott Laboratories in the USA and new launches in Europe. Replagal (agalsidase alfa), for the treatment of Fabry disease, contributed $32.5 million to the coffers, up 26%, while the ulcerative colitis therapy Pentasa (mesalamine) was up 56% to $43.8 million.

Shire shares ended the day up 5.5% to £11.64 and the results impressed analysts who are expecting more of the same in the future. The firm has just completed its $2.6 billion acquisition of the USA’s New River Pharmaceuticals which gives it full control of the heir to Adderall XR, Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate). The drug, which is intended to be a safer, more abuse-resistant and more effective alternative to currently-marketed opioids, is due to be launched before the end of the second quarter.

Shire said it is now expecting percentage growth in 2007 revenues in the low 20s, up from previous guidance of “around 20%”.