Elan turns 1Q profit as Tysabri sales rise

AP News
Posted: Apr 20, 2011 8:38 AM
Elan turns 1Q profit as Tysabri sales rise

Irish drugmaker Elan Corp. said Wednesday it turned a first-quarter profit, helped by a legal settlement, sales growth for the multiple sclerosis treatment Tysabri and lower expenses.

Elan earned $68.2 million, or 12 cents per share, in the three months that ended March 31. That compares with a loss of $6.8 million, or 1 cent per share, in the same quarter last year.

Revenue rose slightly to $313 million.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet forecast, on average, that Elan would break even on $298.7 million in revenue.

Elan recorded a $78 million gain in the quarter for the settlement of patent-infringement litigation with Abraxis, which has been acquired by Celgene Corp.

Elan also said Tysabri sales rose 23 percent in the quarter to $245.2 million. The drugmaker's sales remain heavily dependent on Tysabri, which suppresses the paralyzing effects of MS but carries a risk of a rare brain-inflaming disease called PML.

Elan jointly markets and sells the drug in partnership with Biogen Idec Inc. of Cambridge, Mass.

The company also said selling, general and administrative expenses fell 10 percent in the quarter. Research and development costs dropped 8 percent.

Elan's U.S.-traded shares climbed 2 percent, or 17 cents, to $8.34 in premarket trading.