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SciClone: China drug price cuts below projections

FOSTER CITY, Calif. (AP) -- SciClone Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Tuesday that the government of China has cut the price of its hepatitis and cancer drug Zadaxin.

However SciClone said the cut will have a smaller-than-expected effect on its revenue and profit margins. The company's shares advanced 58 cents, or 12.4 percent, to close at $5.27 on Tuesday.

SciClone said the retail price of Zadaxin is being cut by 18 percent, but the company's margins and revenue will be reduced by less than 5 percent, because most of the costs will be borne by its importation and distribution network. SciClone said it had expected a reduction of 7 to 8 percent.

The company also said the price reductions for its cardiology drug Aggrastat and several drugs SciClone markets in China for Pfizer Inc. and Baxter International Inc. were smaller than expected.