Some of GlaxoSmithKline’s customers might wheeze, but there was no hint of constrictions to the corporate airways yesterday, as the world’s second largest drugs company announced a 35% rise in first quarter profits, after its asthma drug, Advair, has proved a big hit.

In all the company posted net income of £1.5bn. With a strong pipeline, and with its Tamiflue rival drug for Avarian flu, Relenza, the company seems to be sitting pretty.

Meanwhile, the UK’s number 2, AstraZeneca, saw a 37% rise in quarterly profits to US$1.43bn. It was a stunning performance by the company, but some analysts are fretting that its future line up is too weak.

Astra’s sales were lifted by the big three: Nexium, Seroquel, and Crestor. Crestor especially saw a dramatic rise in sales after tests last month appeared to show that the drug really does reduce the levels of plaque in arteries, no other drug has been shown to do that.


AstraZeneca raises guidance after strong quarterCNBC

Healthy drugmakers smash profit forecasts

GlaxoSmithKline sees 25pct profit rise BusinessWeek

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