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Alexion income climbs on greater Soliris sales

CHESHIRE, Conn. (AP) -- Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Wednesday its net income climbed 41 percent in the third quarter on greater sales of its drug Soliris and a large gain after the company settled an intellectual property dispute.

Alexion said sales of Soliris, its only marketed drug, rose 44 percent to $294.1 million during the quarter. The company also recorded a gain of $53.4 million after entering into a licensing agreement that resolved a patent dispute. Alexion also raised its full-year net income guidance because it expects lower taxes and sales costs along with slightly greater revenue.

The company said most of its sales growth came from greater use of Soliris as a treatment for paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, or PNH, in the U.S., Western Europe, and Japan, along with newer markets. Alexion has been marketing Soliris as treatment for PNH since 2007. The condition causes a breakdown of red blood cells and leads to anemia.

In late 2011 the drug was approved as a treatment for atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome, or aHUS, which often leads to kidney failure and death. The company said use of Soliris in aHUS is also increasing.

Alexion said it earned $92.2 million, or 46 cents per share, in the third quarter. That's up from $65.6 million, or 34 cents per share, one year ago. Alexion said its income totaled 60 cents per share if one-time charges are excluded.

Analysts expected the company to report income of 47 cents per share and $293.3 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

The company is now projecting adjusted income of $1.99 to $2.04 per share in 2012, up from its previous estimate of $1.78 to $1.88 per share. It is forecasting $1.12 billion to $1.13 billion in annual revenue, compared to an earlier projection of $1.11 billion to $1.13 billion.

Analysts are expecting income of $1.90 per share and revenue of $1.13 billion, on average.

Shares of Alexion fell $4.90, or 4.9 percent, to $96.04 in midday trading.