* Posts 4 pct rise in Q4 earnings
* Unworried by FDA approval for Teva's cut-price Adderall XR
* Sees 2013 earnings in line with expectations
* Shares down 4 pct
By Paul Sandle
LONDON, Feb 14 Pharmaceutical company Shire
said the arrival of new cut-price versions of
hyperactivity drugs would not hurt its leadership in the
fast-growing market for daily medication to help students to
The company said on Thursday sales of its Vyvanse ADHD
medicine topped $1 billion last year, as a copy of its former
blockbuster Adderall XR was approved by U.S. regulators.
London-listed Shire focuses on niche drug areas like
hyperactivity and rare illnesses such as Gaucher's disease and
Fabry's disease, which have sheltered it from patent expiries
and pricing pressures in Europe that have hurt bigger rivals.
The group, which also makes expensive gene therapy drugs,
posted a 14 percent rise in full-year earnings, broadly in line
with market expectations, and said it was confident about its
In his last set of results before handing over to Flemming
Ornskov, Chief Executive Angus Russell said the group's ADHD
(attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) portfolio was
performing well in a growing market.
"Vyvanse has achieved blockbuster status, delivering a 28
percent increase in revenues to over $1 billion for the first
time," he told reporters.
The drug, an amphetamine, has been approved in Britain, and
Russell said launch would likely come in the second quarter.
Higher Vyvasne sales, in a U.S. ADHD market growing around 9
percent a year, is helping to offset increased competition from
cut-price versions of Adderall XR.
Teva, which already sells an authorised version of
the drug under a 2006 license with Shire, said on Thursday it
had won approval from the FDA for its own generic.
Shire's sales of Adderall XR fell 19 percent to $429 million
in 2012, when it also faced new competition from a copy made by
Activis and received a lower royalty rate for an authorised
generic from Impax.
Shire's shares had a strong run into the results, rising by
21 percent in the last three months. They were trading down 4
percent at 2,059 pence by 1457 GMT.
Analysts at Jefferies said the company's fourth quarter
results were in line with expectations, and its outlook remained
upbeat despite the news of another generic.
Shire said it expected earnings growth in 2013 to be in line
with current market expectations.
Analysts expect the company to report non-GAAP earnings per
ADS of $6.72 in 2013, 10 percent up on their expectations for
2012, according to a company-compiled consensus.
The group company reported a 4 percent rise in
fourth-quarter non-GAAP earnings per ADS of $1.58 on revenue up
5 percent to $1.2 billion, resulting in earnings for the year of
$6.10, broadly in line with analyst expectations.