Company news: Johnson & Johnson, Forest Labs and Berkery Noyes

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Johnson & Johnson said sales rose 6.8% in the third quarter vs. the same period last year but that net earnings fell 6.3%. US sales of OTC medicines were down 4.5%, impacted by ongoing quality and manufacturing issues, as were pharmaceutical sales, down 6.1% due to generic competition for antibiotic Levaquin. Outside the US, OTC sales rose 10.1%, and pharmaceutical revenues gained by 27.5%. The company is launching new drugs including prostate cancer med Zytiga and buying device firm Synthes for about $21 billion.

 

Forest Labs said net income fell 12.7% for the three months ended September 30 (its fiscal second quarter), as compared to the same period a year ago. The company launched two new drugs during the quarter, as it seeks to replace revenue to be lost next year from top-selling antidepressant Lexapro's expected patent expiry. These are COPD drug Daliresp, which has posted $1.2 million in sales since debuting in August, and antidepressant Viibryd, which generated $5.3 million in revenue. Revenue for brands Lexapro and Namenda increased 4.7% and 8.6%, respectively

 

According to a report from investment bank Berkery Noyes on mergers and acquisitions among information and technology companies serving pharma and healthcare, transaction value slowed 6% in the third quarter vs. the second. However, transaction value rose 245%. Berkery Noyes attributes this sharp increase to Blackstone Group's announced third-quarter acquisition of medical data services firm Emdeon for $3.03 billion, the largest transaction so far in 2011. The most active acquirer during the quarter was PerkinElmer with four acquisitions: Labtronics, Geospiza, CambridgeSoft and ArtusLabs.

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