Burst of H1N1 vax orders fuel spike in Novartis profits

In the end the swine flu pandemic proved far more mild than originally anticipated, but the one-time demand for the H1N1 vaccine helped swell profits at Novartis in the first quarter by 49 percent.

Flu contracts contributed $1.1 billion to the $12.3 billion sales total Novartis reported for the quarter. And the big pharma company says that it expects that revenue bump will not be repeated anytime soon. Any future sales increase will come from the 145 products in the Novartis pipeline and from Alcon, says CEO Joe Jimenez, an eye therapy company which was recently acquired.

- see Novartis' earnings release
- here's the story from the Wall Street Journal