Boehringer anti-clotting pill gains blockbuster status

INGELHEIM, Germany, April 24 Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:32am EDT

INGELHEIM, Germany, April 24 (Reuters) - Boehringer Ingelheim said its anti-blood-clotting drug Pradaxa reached blockbuster status in 2012, helping the world's largest unlisted drugmaker to an 11.5 percent rise in sales for last year.

Sales of the pill, which competes with Bayer and Johnson & Johnson's Xarelto as well as Bristol Myers-Squibb and Pfizer's Eliquis, jumped 76 percent to 1.1 billion euros ($1.43 billion) in its second year of market approval, the group said on Wednesday.

The drug industry terms products with more than $1 billion in sales as blockbusters.

The German group's full-year operating income, however, dropped 18 percent to 1.85 billion euros as it spent heavily on late-stage drug trials of new cancer and diabetes treatments.

Upgrades it is making at its Ben Venue Laboratories unit in Bedford, Ohio, to lift a ban imposed by U.S. regulators also weighed on earnings.

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