GSK posts Q1 profit loss, points to decline in Avandia sales
LONDON GlaxoSmithKline released its first quarter report recently and profits fell 13 percent from $4.2 billion to $3.7 billion, according to published reports.
This decrease in sales is due mostly to the large decline in sales of the company’s diabetes drug Avandia, which saw a decline in revenue of 56 percent to $376.8 million. Sales for the drug have been decreasing ever since a report published last May in the New England Journal of Medicine alleged a link between the drug and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Generic competition also hurt figures for GSK. The company’s nausea drug Zofran saw sales drop by 69 percent to $57.2 million, the nasal allergy spray Flonase decreased by 33 percent to $90.7 million and its heart disease drug Coreg fell by 77 percent to $94.7 million.
GSK chief executive officer Jean-Pierre Garnier also responded to the accusation that GSK is paying well over the odds, $720 million, to acquire Sirtris Pharmaceuticals of the USA. He said that the premium is a reasonable one, given the “really innovative research” Sirtris is doing in terms of sirtuins, a class of enzymes that control the aging process.
Schering-Plough posts quarterly loss from purchase of Organon
KENILWORTH, N.J. Schering-Plough today released its first-quarter results for 2008, according to published reports. The drugmaker reported a net income of $253 million, down from $543 million during the first quarter of 2007, mostly due to the acquisition of the biotech company Organon BioSciences.
Sales though rose by 56 percent to $4.66 billion. Its rheumatoid arthritis drug Remicade’s sales rose by 36 percent to $507 million.
Vytorin and another cholesterol treatment drug Zetia, which Schering markets through a joint venture with Merck saw sales of both drugs combined rise 6 percent to $1.2 billion during the quarter. But they fell 5 percent in the United States amid the widely publicized failure of Vytorin to cut plaque in neck arteries in a study for which results were presented in January.
Merck said Monday it expects its revenue from the drugs to drop by $700 million over the rest of 2008.
Chief executive officer Fred Hassan said the company is on track with its plan to cut annual costs by $1.5 billion by 2012, announced earlier this month. About 10 percent of its 55,000 jobs are to be cut.
Genzyme plans expansion in China
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Genzyme has announced that it will build a research and development center in Beijing as part of its global expansion, according to published reports.
The company expects the facility to open in 2010 and cost them about $90 million. It will be a 200,000 square-foot facility, which will be able to accommodate 350 employees.
Genzyme said it already has 25 employees working in offices in Beijing and Shanghai and has a pilot program for its cell therapy MACI at Beijing Wujing Hospital.