Don't look for Lundbeck earnings growth until 2015

You can't accuse Lundbeck CEO Ulf Wiinberg of misdirection. In announcing the Danish drugmaker's latest results, Wiinberg flat-out stated that profits won't be rising anytime soon. "Growth in earnings will come in 2015, realistically," Wiinberg told Reuters.

It's not as if Wiinberg could hide the company's challenges. Lundbeck is heavily dependent on its antidepressant Cipralex, which is sold in the U.S. by Forest Laboratories ($FRX) as Lexapro. And Lexapro falls off patent next month. The company figures it will lose about 80% of its Lexapro sales to generic competition this year, 90% by 2013. Already, it's losing Cipralex revenues to generic competition in three European countries.

Lundbeck has high hopes for a Cipralex successor, LU21004, reports jv.dk. Late-stage trial data on that drug is due during the first half of this year. Sydbank analyst Løntoft Soren Hansen expects the company to file for approval by year's end. Other products that can help fill the gap are Sabril, a seizure drug, and Xenazine, which treats chorea in Huntington's disease patients, Reuters reports.

The company will plow more money into R&D this year than it ever has, Wiinberg told the news service. "We will thereby create the foundation for growth from 2015 and beyond," he said. Hansen concurs with that long-term focus. "There will be no smooth transition" from the old products to the new, he said (as quoted by jv.dk).

- see the Reuters story
- get more from jv.dk

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