April 29, 2010 / 11:17 AM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 3-Shire Q1 beats forecasts, repeats growth target

* Q1 earnings per ADS $1.01 vs company consensus $0.83

* Q1 revenue $816 million vs $818 million a year ago

* Reiterates target of mid-teens revenue growth in 2009-2015

* Sees minimal impact from U.S. healthcare reform * Shares up 0.6 pct (Adds further details on Replagal, Vpriv sales)

By Paul Sandle

LONDON, April 29 (Reuters) - Drugmaker Shire SHP.L SHPGY.O posted better-than-expected first-quarter earnings on Thursday as new drugs offset loss of exclusivity for its blockbuster ADHD medicine Adderall XR.

Shire has bolstered its hyperactivity franchise with new drugs Vyvanse and Intuniv, as Adderall XR wanes in the face of generic competition from Israel’s Teva (TEVA.TA), and the company is also moving increasingly into niche treatments for rare diseases.

“If we look at sales of our core products, excluding Adderall XR, these rose by 36 percent, replacing entirely the lost sales from Adderall XR,” Chief Executive Angus Russell told reporters on Thursday.

Britain’s third-largest drugmaker reported earnings per American Depository Share of $1.01, ahead of the consensus forecast of $0.83, on revenue broadly flat at $816 million.

Vyvanse sales were up 32 percent at $154.4 million and Intuniv sales were $34.5 million in the first quarter.

Russell said U.S. healthcare reform had minimal impact in the first quarter, and the group was well placed to manage future changes in the market.

“Our whole strategy is based around the specialist and rare disease products, and that positions us extremely well for the new world post-healthcare reform in the U.S,” he said.

The levy to pay for reforms, due in 2011, would have a “very low” impact, in the “tens of millions”, he added.

GENZYME BOOST

The company has also received a boost from production problems at U.S. rival Genzyme Corp GENZ.O, which have caused some patients with the rare Gaucher’s and Fabry diseases to switch to Shire’s Vpriv and Replagal. [ID:nN24145126]

Vpriv was approved in the United States in February, after being fast-tracked because Genzyme could not meet demand, and analysts expect Replagal to receive U.S. clearance in the fourth quarter of this year.

Replagal sales increased 69 percent to $68 million, the company said, while Vpriv recorded sales of $5.8 million.

“For Vpriv, we are now approaching 500 patients treated globally,” Russell said. “We have 13 percent share of the U.S market for Gaucher’s.”

“For Replagal we have moved to a very clear lead in the EU market,” he said, adding that the drug had taken about a 60 percent share. “We took on another 190 patients in the first quarter (globally).”

About 140 of those were switches from Fabrazyme, Genzyme’s product for Fabry disease, which afflicts just a few thousand people worldwide.

Shire has not given detailed guidance, but says it expects 2010 revenue to be ahead of 2009, with sales of its core drugs, excluding Adderall XR, growing by 25 percent or more.

It also reiterated its “aspirational target” of on average mid-teens revenue growth between 2009 and 2015.

Its shares, which reached a nine-year high of 1,526 pence in March and trade at about 18 times 2010 forecast earnings, nearly twice the multiple of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L), were 0.6 percent higher at 1,471 pence by 1430 GMT. (Editing by Kate Kelland and Rupert Winchester)

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