Shire Awaits Lexington Plant Approval as Profit Beats Estimates

Shire Plc (SHP), the U.K. maker of the Adderall hyperactivity pill, said fourth-quarter profit rose as sales of the drug and successor treatment Vyvanse gained while competitor Sanofi worked to restore full production of rival rare-disease treatments.

Shire said the U.S. is still reviewing plans for a new plant for the Vpriv and Replagal genetic-disorder therapies that are part of a strategy of winning market share from Sanofi. A decision is expected “in early 2012,” Dublin-based Shire said today in a statement.

Fourth-quarter earnings excluding some items surged to $1.51 per American depositary share compared with $1.03 a year earlier, the company said. Earnings beat the median estimate of $1.38 per ADS from eight analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Gross margins will be “marginally lower” this year, reflecting costs from the acquisition of Advanced BioHealing Inc., Shire said.

A production disruption at Sanofi (SAN)’s Genzyme unit in 2009 handed Shire a sales and market-share windfall for genetic- disorder treatments Vpriv, a treatment for Gaucher disease, and Replagal, for Fabry’s disease. Newer drugs, including Intuniv for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and Firazyr for hereditary angioedema, have helped Shire cut dependence on Adderall XR, which generated more than one-third of annual sales before competing generic products came on the market in 2009.

“The effective ramp-up of enzyme capacity for both Sanofi and Shire remain key,” Luisa Hector, an analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG in London with an “outperform” recommendation on Shire stock, wrote in a Feb. 1 note to clients.

Total revenue increased 23 percent to $1.14 billion.

Shire shares fell 1.4 percent to 2,144 pence at 12:17 p.m. in London.

To contact the reporter on this story: Trista Kelley in London at tkelley2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phil Serafino at pserafino@bloomberg.net

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