Wyeth's 2Q sales rise, but income sees decline

MADISON, N.J. Wyeth announced that its net income declined by 6 percent to $1.12 billion from $1.20 billion for its second quarter compared to the same period last year, according to published reports. Wyeth’s second-quarter sales rose 5 percent to $5.9 billion, with virtually all of the gain coming from the weak dollar.

Wyeth’s biggest product, the antidepressant Effexor, had sales of $1.02 billion, up 5 percent. The Prevnar pneumococcal vaccine posted sales growth of 9 percent to $691 million. Sales of the anti-inflammatory medication Enbrel outside the U.S. and Canada rose 36 percent to $692 million. Wyeth has exclusive rights to the drug outside the U.S. and Canada, while Amgen comarkets the drug with Wyeth in the U.S. and Canada. Wyeth reported revenue from these countries of $284 million, up 6 percent.

The recent launch of competing generic versions of the heartburn drug Protonix drove Wyeth’s sales for the product down 59 percent to $228 million. This includes both Wyeth’s branded version and an authorized generic version it launched when competitors began selling generics.

Much of the investor interest in Wyeth lately, however, is centered on a drug not yet on the market. Wyeth is developing an Alzheimer’s drug with Elan called bapineuzumab. The companies recently reported encouraging results from a mid-stage study of the drug, and are conducting larger, late-stage studies to support the potential filing for regulatory approval, which is a few years away. Analysts think the drug could be a major blockbuster.

But Wyeth executives indicated their focus wouldn’t be solely on prescription drugs. The company plans to build up its non-pharmaceutical business, which includes consumer health care, (which had sales of $665 million), nutritional and animal-health products, (which saw sales increase by 12 percent to $313 million). Chief executive officer Bernard Poussot said Wyeth would make small- to mid-sized acquisitions in these areas.

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