Shire is bolstered by new drugs coming to market

DRUGMAKER Shire posted better-than-expected first quarter earnings yesterday, as new drugs offset losses of exclusivity for its blockbuster medicine Adderall XR, used to treat Attention Deficit Disorder.

Shire has bolstered its franchise with new drugs Vyvanse and Intuniv, as Adderall XR wanes in the face of generic competition from Israel’s Teva. 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 per cent.” said chief executive Angus Russell.

The company has also received a boost from production problems at US rival Genzyme, which have caused some patients with the rare Gaucher’s and Fabry diseases to switch to Shire’s Vpriv and Replagal.

Britain’s third-largest drugmaker reported broadly flat sales, ahead of forecasts, at $816m despite generic competition for Adderall

Russell added that US healthcare reform had minimal impact in the first quarter.