Elan plan to have new chairman in place by beginning of new year
Irish drug company Elan expects to have finalised the appointment of a new chairman by the end of the year after incumbent Kyran McLaughlin announced earlier during the year that he was resigning from the post.
Elan's chief financial officer Shane Cooke said he expected the vacancy to be filled before the New Year.
He was speaking as Elan reported a net loss of $43.6m (€31.7m) for the third quarter to the end of September and a 2pc decline in revenue for the period to $281.4m.
Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) jumped 61pc to $38.2m.
They are expected to be $150m for the current full year.
The company had reported net income of $52.3m in the corresponding period in 2009, after it recorded a $107.7m net gain from the sale of its Alzheimer's immunotherapy programme to Johnson & Johnson.
Elan's recorded revenue from sales of the multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri rose 13pc in the period to $216m, with global in-market sales having climbed 9pc to $307.2m.
Sales from Tysabri, which Elan markets in conjunction with US firm Biogen-Idec, were slightly lower than expected by analysts.
Speaking to journalists yesterday, Mr Cooke said that the figure had been impacted in part by a weaker dollar. Approximately 55,000 people are now using Tysabri.
He also pointed out that Elan's adjusted EBITDA figure had been boosted by a 13pc cut in its combined selling, general and administrative charges as well as research and development expenses.
R&D costs were down 20pc year-on-year primarily as a result of the Johnson & Johnson deal.
He reiterated that the company was on track to be profitable on an operating income level in the current financial year and that with lower costs in 2011, the company expected to be profitable on a net income that year.
Both Mr Cooke and Elan president Carlos Paya said they did not believe that Tysabri sales would be adversely affected by the launch this month, in the United States, of the multiple sclerosis treatment Gilenya, which is manufactured by Novartis.
Although Gilenya is a so-called first-line treatment, with Tysabri being prescribed for patients who have unsuccessfully used such first-line drugs, some analysts believe Tysabri revenues will still be impacted by the launch of the Novartis drug.
However, Mr Cooke pointed out that since Tysabri was launched in 2006, the market for MS drugs has grown at an annual 8pc compound rate and that there were now 120,000 more patients being treated with MS drugs than there was four years ago.
Shares in Elan closed down at €3.97.