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Drugmaker Lundbeck lowers sales outlook as generic competition bites

By Reuters

COPENHAGEN – Lundbeck on Wednesday slightly lowered its 2021 sales outlook as strong growth for its leading products was not enough to offset greater-than-expected competition from generic drugs, sending its shares down more than 6%.

Sales of Northera, used to treat disorders caused by an underlying neurological disease, are expected to drop by 75% this year down from a previous forecast for a 70% decline.

“Northera did erode much more quickly in the early phases than we had anticipated,” Chief Executive Deborah Dunsire told Reuters.

But she said the fall had started to level out after a dive caused by the availability of eight generic versions of the drug on the first day of Northera’s patent expiry.

Lundbeck’s shares fell roughly 6% in early trade to their lowest in more than nine months. Analysts cited soft quarterly sales and the lack of interesting drug candidates in the pipeline.

Lundbeck reported second-quarter revenue of 3.96 billion Danish crowns slightly below an average of 3.99 million crowns expected by analysts in a Refinitiv poll.

The Copenhagen-based company, which specialises in making drugs to treat brain diseases, expects sales this year to reach 16.3 billion – 16.6 billion Danish crowns ($2.57-$2.62 billion), versus a previous range of 16.3-16.9 billion.

Full-year earnings from operations is seen at 2.0-2.3 billion Danish crowns, versus a previous outlook of 1.8-2.3 billion, as marketing costs are lower than expected because of COVID-19 restrictions.

($1 = 6.3470 Danish crowns)