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Promising early results for UCB’s new products


UCB announced today its interim report for the first nine months of 2009.

“While it is still early in the launch roll-out of our major new products, Cimzia, Vimpat and Neupro, we are pleased with trends in prescription uptake.” said Roch Doliveux, CEO of UCB.

As expected, revenue declined in the first nine months of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008 as a consequence of generic competition to Keppra (levetiracetam) in the US.

This was partially compensated by the strong performance of Keppra in Europe which continued to show double-digit percentage net sales growth and by the similarly strong growth of Xyzal (levocetirizine) in the US. and of Zyrtec (cetirizine) in Japan.

Prescription data for Cimzia (certolizumab pegol) in the treatment of Crohn’s disease (CD) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in the U.S. are promising with a 20.2% and a 2.9% share respectively of new prescriptions (NRx) in the subcutaneous anti-TNF market.

Cimzia was recently approved in Europe for the treatment of RA. Patients were treated with Cimzia the following day in Germany while other European countries are expected to launch in the coming months.

At the end of July, more than 15 000 patients were being treated with Vimpat in Europe and, at the end of September, more than 10 000 patients were being treated with Vimpat in the U.S.

In Europe, Vimpat has just been launched in France and Spain in addition to Germany, the UK and nine smaller markets.

Launches in other European markets will follow in the coming months, following local pricing reimbursement approvals.

Since the approval by the European Commission in June 2009 for UCB to again promote Neupro for Parkinson’s disease, and to launch the drug for restless legs syndrome, more than 33 000 patients are currently being treated with the drug in Europe.

European neurologists have welcomed the drug’s return and the cold-chain storage and distribution system is well-accepted.

Neupro is now available in Germany, Italy, Spain and the U.K. and in nine smaller European markets for Parkinson’s disease.


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