Elan shares hit new low on Zanaflex warning


Irish pharmaceutical giant Elan has warned today that the launch of a generic rival to its Zanaflex will result in a fall in sales of the drug in the second half of the year.

The news further depressed the company’s share price which fell 45 cents to a new low of €5.90 on the Irish stock market.

As a consequence Elan warned that its sales of Zanaflex will fall in the second half of the year because of the increased competition.

Eon Labs received US marketing clearance for a 4 milligramme dose of the drug.

Elan said its first quarter sales of Zanaflex were $53.7m, of which $40.3m, or 75 per cent, were 4 milligram dose tablets. This represented about 9% of total revenue for the quarter.

Second quarter sales will be similar to the first quarter. But if Eon Labs launches its 4 milligram dose immediately, "We expect that total net sales for Zanaflex in the third quarter and fourth quarter of 2002 will be at levels lower than in the first half of the year," Elan said.

It added that the remainder of its product portfolio is performing well, and it will reassign its sales force to boost its top ten brands.

Elan said it will continue with its programme of finding new formulations and dosage forms and other enhancement strategies for Zanaflex.