* Q2 revenue rose to $281 million
* MS drug Tysabri sales up 30 percent
* Loss per share of 14 U.S. cents
By Padraic Halpin
DUBLIN, July 21 (Reuters) - Irish drugmaker Elan ELN.I beat expectations with a 14 percent rise in second-quarter revenues when reporting a wider net loss on Tuesday.
Elan recorded a loss per share of 14 U.S. cents for the three months to the end of June, versus a loss of 15 cents in the 2008 period. Four analysts polled by Reuters expected an average loss before exceptional items of 15 cents.
Elan’s total quarterly revenue rose to $281 million, driven by a 30 percent jump in sales of its multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri. That compared with a forecast for $260 million.
Elan, which recently sold an 18.4 percent stake to U.S. company Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N), said around 43,300 patients worldwide were on Tysabri therapy — a drug it markets with U.S. partner Biogen Idec (BIIB.O) — by the end of June.
Biogen and Elan originally predicted 100,000 patients would be taking Tysabri by the end of 2010. While they still expect to reach that figure, which would mean the drug could bring in $2-$3 billion a year, they don’t expect to reach it within that timeframe.
The company reiterated its full-year 2009 guidance and said revenues were on target for double-digit percentage growth and for adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) to be profitable. (Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Dan Lalor)