November 7, 2012 / 7:56 AM / in 5 years

UPDATE 1-Lundbeck profit beats forecast on rising sales

(Adds detail, background)

Nov 7 (Reuters) - Danish drugmaker Lundbeck reported quarterly earnings above market expectations, helped by rising sales of key drugs, and stuck to its outlook for 2012.

Lundbeck also said on Wednesday it was making progress in launching a new antidepressant aimed at substituting for a current top seller coming off patent.

It said third-quarter operating profit was flat at 661 million Danish crowns ($113 million), compared with a forecast for 580 million in a Reuters poll.

“Lundbeck is on track to meet financial expectations for 2012,” it said, adding full-year revenue should come in at the lower end of its forecast range of 14.5-15.2 billion crowns.

Lundbeck is developing new drugs to replace lost sales from Cipralex, sold as Lexapro in the United States and Japan and which is coming off patent.

In October, Lundbeck and Japanese partner Takeda Pharmaceutical submitted a new antidepressant, vortioxetine, for regulatory approval in the United States.

It said on Wednesday that filing, along with applications to European Union and Japanese regulators, meant it was closer to launching vortioxetine for sale.

In the third quarter, sales of new products doubled to 611 million crowns.

Sales of xenazine, a treatment for chorea associated with Huntington’s disease, were 317 million crowns against a forecast 279 million, while sales of sabril, which treats seizures, were 123 million versus a forecast 96 million.

Lundbeck has said previously that earnings will stall until 2015 due to cheap generic competition, meaning new products will be vital for future earnings. ($1 = 5.8276 Danish crowns) (Reporting by Patrick Lannin; Editing by Dan Lalor)

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