Q2 roll call for mid-sized pharma, as companies face generics trough

First-half earnings are in for Allergan, Shire and UCB, with the three companies striking an upbeat tone on revenues, despite the generics trough.

Allergan sales rose 5%, to $1.5 billion for the quarter ended June 30, compared to sales of $1.4 billion for the same period last year. The company said in a statement Wednesday that specialty pharma had a 5% boost in sales over the same period last year, and medical devices also rose, outpacing last year's sales by 4%. Looking ahead, the company said it expects sales to be between $5.6 billion and $5.9 billion for the year. Leerink Swann analyst Seamus Fernandez said in his August 1 research note that the earnings forecast reflects some downward revisions, including a lower guidance for the firm's eye-pressure drop Lumigan, its filler franchises and its medical device divisions. Fernandez noted that a July survey of dermatologists and plastic surgeons indicated a sluggish Q2 for fillers like Botox, but about a 5% increase between July 2012 and 2013.

Shire's second-quarter results continued the positive turnover trend, despite the influx of generic Adderall XR from Watson into the ADHD marketplace. Sales were $1.2 billion for the quarter, a 16% increase over sales for the same period last year. Strong sellers included ADHD medicine Vyvanase, which had $266 million in sales, a 46% boost over sales for the same period last year. Sales of the Gaucher disease medication Vpriv were $83 million, up 31% over sales for the same period last year, and ADHD medication InTuniv had a 16% sales boost, rising to $70 million compared to sales for the same period in 2011. Adderall XR sales fell to $134 million, a 9% drop from sales during Q2 2011, an expected fall-off from the debut of Watson's copy cat (two authorized generic versions are made by Impax and Teva). The company said it still expects the brand to be a sales contributor, despite the lower-cost competition.

UCB didn't break out quarterly results Wednesday but did say things were going as expected. The Brussels-based drugmaker said its sales rose to $2.1 billion during the first two quarters, a 2% increase over sales for the same period last year. The company said sales of its Crohn's/RA drug Cimzia increased 46% over last year, at $256 million, while sales of the now-generic epilepsy drug Keppra fell to $545 million, a 12% drop from sales for the same period last year. The company said it expects sales of Cimzia, epilepsy drug Vimpat and Parkinson's disease/restless legs syndrome treatment Neupro to be the main drivers for the year's sales.

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