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Analyst Blog

UCB recently reported results for the first quarter of 2013. Revenues fell 8.2% year over year to approximately $1.1 billion due to generic erosion of Keppra and a delayed allergy season.

All growth rates mentioned below are on a year-on-year basis and at CER.

While Cimzia (Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis) sales increased 27% in the reported quarter, Vimpat (epilepsy) sales increased 16%. Neupro, which is marketed as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease (PD) and restless legs syndrome (RLS), delivered sales growth of 37%.

However, sales of Keppra, another epilepsy treatment, declined 22%. Sales were hurt by generic competition in the US and Europe.

Pipeline Update

Vimpat as monotherapy met its primary endpoint in a phase III study on epilepsy in the US. The company intends to file for US approval in the second half of 2013.

For the PD and RLS indications, Neupro received regulatory approval in Japan in Dec 2012. UCB’s partner, Otsuka Pharmaceuticals, has launched Neupro in Japan.

For the RA indication, Cimzia was approved in Japan in Dec 2012. UCB’s partner Astellas Pharma, Inc. (ALPMY) has launched the drug in Japan.

UCB is currently looking to get Cimzia’s label expanded for the treatment of active psoriatic arthritis and active axial spondyloarthritis in the US, EU and other regions.

.2013 Guidance

The company maintained its previously issued guidance of €3.4 million of revenues for 2013 and earnings per share in the band of €1.90–€2.05.

UCB carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Other companies like Catalyst Pharmaceutical Partners Inc. (CPRX - Snapshot Report) and Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. also carry a Zacks Rank #1.

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