Industry in brief | Ipsen, Alliance Pharma, Sandoz

Industry in brief | Ipsen, Alliance Pharma, Sandoz
Novartis intends to keep its Sandoz generics business and make it more competitive, says chief executive officer Vasant Narasimhan

26 July 2019 - Deborah Wilkes

Ipsen has reported results for the first half of 2019, Alliance Pharma has released a trading update, and Novartis intends to keep its Sandoz generics business.

Ipsen Consumer Healthcare reports decline

Worldwide sales by Ipsen's Consumer Healthcare business were EUR130 million (USD143 million) in the first half of 2019, representing a fall of 3.7% excluding currency and business changes. Sales as reported were down by 10.2% compared to the same period a year earlier.

Noting the fall was mainly due to the "competitive environment for Smecta in China", Ipsen said it expected Consumer Healthcare's sales to grow in the second half of the year.

Smecta was Consumer Healthcare's largest product but sales were down by 7.7% excluding currency and business changes to EUR57.9 million. Ipsen said the drop was mainly due to the "new hospital competitive environment in China and some manufacturing delays in Algeria".

Sales of the second largest product, the Forlax laxative, dropped by 0.4% to EUR19.1 million.

By contrast, the Tanakan ginkgo biloba product recorded sales up by 10.8% to EUR17.6 million. Ipsen said the brand had benefited from a low 2018 baseline in Vietnam and a good performance in Russia.

Sales of Fortrans/Eziclen increased by 19.6% to EUR16.7 million. Ipsen said the rise had been driven by Russia.

Consumer Healthcare's core operating income dropped by 17.9% excluding currency and business changes to EUR34.3 million in the first half of 2019. It represented 26.5% of sales compared with 29.0% in the first half of 2018.

Ipsen said the fall reflected "lower sales and commercial investments to support the OTx strategy".

The Consumer Healthcare business generated 10.5% of Ipsen's total sales in the first half of 2019, which were up by 14.3% to EUR1.23 billion.

The majority of Ipsen's sales – 89.5% – came from the Specialty Care business, which reported sales up by 16.9% to EUR1.10 billion.

Acquisitions boost Alliance

Acquiring the medicated anti-dandruff shampoo Nizoral in the Asia-Pacific region helped lift Alliance Pharma's sales to GBP70.3 million (USD85.2 million) in the first half of 2019, representing a rise of 29% as reported and 28% at constant currencies.

The UK-based specialty pharmaceutical company said the figures were on a "see-through" basis including the underlying sales from Nizoral.

Under the terms of the transitional services agreement with Johnson & Johnson (J&J), Alliance Pharma receives the benefit of the net profit on sales of Nizoral from the date of acquisition up until the product licences in the Asia-Pacific territories transfer from J&J to Alliance Pharma which is expected during the second half of 2019 and 2020.

The company acquired the rights to the Nizoral anti-dandruff shampoo in the Asia-Pacific region for GBP60.0 million (click here to read the News story).

Excluding the impact of acquisitions, Alliance Pharma's sales were up by 10% at constant currencies.

Alliance Pharma said its international star brands had achieved "healthy revenue growth", with sales up by 79% to GBP30.9 million. On a like-for-like basis – excluding Nizoral and Xonvea – sales were up by 21%.

Sales of the scar-reduction product Kelo-Cote increased by 20% to GBP13.1 million, reflecting "continued demand in the Asia-Pacific region".

Alliance Pharma said sales of local brands had increased by 6% to GBP39.4 million in the first half of 2019.

Novartis chief comments on Sandoz

Novartis intends to keep its Sandoz generics business and make it more competitive, according to chief executive officer Vasant Narasimhan.

Speaking to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, Narasimhan said Sandoz would be given more autonomy within Novartis to make it more competitive. He also said Novartis would keep both the Sandoz and Hexal brands in Germany.

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