Spain’s Faes Farma has posted a strong rise in earnings for the first quarter with net profit climbing 12.7% to just over 6.7 million euros and the performance was especially impressive given the price cuts the firm has had to endure in its home market. The cost of sales and other operating expenses climbed 9.6% to 42.9 million euros.

Net sales were up 3.5% to almost 52.1 million euros, driven by a number of products on the Spanish market that Faes has signed commercialisation deals for over the last 20 years, with partners such as Sanofi-Aventis, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly, Merck KGaA and Solvay. The Bilbao-based firm did not divulge quarterly sales for its drugs, but its bestsellers included the asthma treatment Inaladuo/Maizar (salmeterol/fluticasone), the antidepressant Motiván (paroxetine), the ulcerative colitis drug Claversal/Asacol/Lixacol (mesalazine), the corticosteroid Dezacor/Rosilan (deflazacort) and the varicose veins treatment Venosmil (hidrosmin).

These are interesting times for Faes, notably because some observers believe that its new allergy drug bilastine could get regulatory approval in the USA before the end of the year and capture a sizeable part of the $3 billion oral antihistamine market. The firm recently announced that it is on the verge of signing up a commercial partner for Europe, having already teamed up with Inspire Pharmaceuticals in the USA and Canada.