CEO Timo Lappalainen's reviews 2011

Published on 7 February 2012

“Strong year for Orion”

“Our net sales and operating profit were higher than in the previous year.

“Deliveries of our Parkinson’s drugs to Novartis continued to grow in the past year. However, as anticipated, total in-market sales of the product family and sales of Stalevo® and Comtess® through Orion’s own marketing were slightly lower. Sales from the rest of our product range grew well throughout the year. We succeeded in further strengthening our market position because in many markets our growth was faster than growth of the overall pharmaceuticals market. This was true of Finland too, where the pharmaceuticals market as a whole resumed growth after several years of contraction.

“One event important for Orion’s future was in September, when the European Commission granted centralised marketing authorisation for the intensive care sedative dexdor® (dexmedetomidine). Launching of the product and launch preparations in various parts of Europe towards the end of the year progressed as planned. Dexmedetomidine (Precedex®) sold by our partner Hospira has performed well in recent years, especially in the United States, and we believe that in the coming years it will bring us considerable sales in Europe too, where we will generally be marketing it ourselves.

“Our research projects started later in the previous year progressed as planned in 2011. They included Phase I and II clinical trials with an alpha 2c receptor antagonist, an androgen receptor antagonist and a new more effective levodopa product, and projects to broaden the Easyhaler® product family into combination products. Last year we also entered into some collaboration agreements important for our future. We began extensive collaboration with the US company Endo Pharmaceuticals for discovery, development and commercialisation of assets in oncology, and in the summer we entered into an agreement with Nycomed for marketing Easyhaler® combination products under development.

“A fire at Orion’s manufacturing plant in Turku in November caused some problems in deliveries of certain products late in the year, especially in Finland. Although we were able to restart production even faster than anticipated, we will not achieve normal delivery reliability in the first months of the current year. Nevertheless, the overall financial effects of the accident are expected to remain relatively small.

“In 2012 the first generic competitors for our Parkinson’s drugs will enter the markets. As a result, we estimate that our net sales will be at similar level to the previous year and our operating profit at similar level to 2010.

 

Published on 25 October 2011

“Dexdor gained marketing authorisation”

“Our net sales and operating profit were higher than in the previous year.

”As anticipated, the strong growth in deliveries of our Parkinson drugs to Novartis in the first half of the year levelled off in recent months. Growth in sales from the rest of our product range also slowed slightly. Nevertheless, we have succeeded in further strengthening our market position in Finland and growing elsewhere in Europe.

“In September the European Commission granted centralised marketing authorisation for Orion’s intensive care sedative dexdor® (dexmedetomidine), and we have already started launching and launch preparations in various parts of Europe. Dexmedetomidine (Precedex®) sold by our partner Hospira has performed well in recent years, especially in the United States, and we believe that in the coming years it will bring us considerable sales in Europe too, where we will generally be marketing it ourselves.

“Another event during the period under review important for the future was entering into a collaboration agreement with Nycomed in the summer for co-marketing of Easyhaler® combination products under development in the major European countries. In addition, Nycomed obtains the exclusive right to license and distribute the products in the Middle East and North Africa. Orion and Nycomed will both market the products covered by the agreement for treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease under the Easyhaler umbrella brand.

“Our outlook estimate remains the same. We estimate that net sales will be slightly higher and operating profit excluding non-recurring items higher than in 2010.

 

Published on 2 August 2011 

“Solid growth continued”

“Our net sales and operating profit in the first half of the year were higher than a year ago.

“In Orion’s key markets in Europe, the prices of drugs reimbursed under healthcare systems continued to decline in many countries. Nevertheless, we performed well in this very challenging operating environment. Sales of our Parkinson’s drugs continued to rise, mainly because deliveries to Novartis increased. Sales from our other product ranges grew throughout the first half of the year. We strengthened our market position in Finland and maintained our growth in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.

“As anticipated, sales drives increased sales and marketing expenses. Research and development expenses also increased slightly because new clinical trials commenced this year.

“In July we took a significant step forward for Orion’s future when the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use of the European Medicines Agency issued a positive opinion recommending the granting of marketing authorisation for dexdor® (dexmedetomidine), a new intensive care sedative.

“The key themes of our strategy remain the same following the review in June. The strategic focus remains on growth of business operations through a competitive product portfolio, strengthening the market position in Europe and improving the flexibility and efficiency of operations. A prerequisite for achieving these objectives is continuous enhancement of our capability to network and collaborate with partners at all stages of the value chain. The progress made in all these areas in the past couple of years is a good foundation for continuing to implement our strategy in the future when sales of our Parkinson’s drugs start to decline due to generic competition.

“Our outlook estimate remains the same. We estimate that net sales will be slightly higher and operating profit excluding non-recurring items higher than in 2010."

 

Published on 27 April 2011 

“Strong growth in sales”

“Our operating profit in the first quarter of the year was clearly higher than a year ago. The good progress was due to strong and better than expected growth in sales, which also includes a non-recurring payment of EUR 7 million from Endo Pharmaceuticals.

“Sales of our Parkinson’s drugs were higher than in the comparative period. It is especially promising for Orion’s future that sales from our other product ranges continued to grow strongly. Precedex and the Easyhaler product family were the proprietary drugs with the fastest sales growth. Continuing investments in developing the Scandinavian portfolio of self-care products and Eastern European operations, and continual product launches have yielded results in Specialty Products. The year began well for Animal Health and Orion Diagnostica, too."

“Research and development expenses in the first quarter were only slightly higher than in the comparative period because recruitment of patients has just begun for our new clinical trials, such as the alpha 2c receptor antagonist and androgen receptor antagonist research programmes. Research and development expenses will increase when these trials are fully operational later in the year."

“Processing of the marketing authorisation application for Orion’s intensive care sedative dexmedetomidine by the European Medicines Agency is continuing as anticipated and in accordance with the earlier announced schedule. In March the results from clinical trials with the product were presented for the first time ina scientific congress."

“Our net sales growth in the first quarter was better than expected, and as a result our operating profit improved more strongly than anticipated. The good performance in the first quarter raised our expectation for the full year, so on 13 April 2011 we announced in a stock exchange release that we were upgrading our full-year outlook for the current year. According to the new estimate, net sales will increase slightly and operating profit excluding non-recurring items will increase.”