Glaxo's Sales Climb 10%

The company's shares rise more than 4%.
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GlaxoSmithKline

(GSK) - Get Report

, the British drug colossus, reported 10% growth in revenue and a double-digit advance in earnings per share for the first quarter.

For the three months ended March 31, GlaxoSmithKline earned $2.68 billion, or 46 cents a share, on revenue of $10.2 billion. J.P. Garnier, the chief executive, said Thursday that the company remains on track to see this year's earnings per share climb 10% from 2005.

The company was aided by sales of the asthma drug Advair, which rose 12% from a year ago to $1.43 billion. Sales of vaccines were up 44% to $641 million, and revenue from the high blood pressure and heart-disease treatment Coreg increased 53% to $394 million.

Going forward, GlaxoSmithKline will be counting on several experimental products that could come to market in 2006 or 2007.

The drug with the biggest sales potential is Cervarix, a vaccine for a virus that causes cervical cancer. The company has filed for approval in the European Union and in 13 other markets, and it expects to file for U.S. regulatory review by the end of the year.

A competing vaccine from

Merck

(MRK) - Get Report

is now under consideration by the Food and Drug Administration.

Also being studied is a flu vaccine called FluLaval, which the company hopes will be available for the 2006-2007 U.S. flu season. Meanwhile, the FDA is reviewing Trexima, a migraine treatment that Glaxo says is "on track for approval and launch" this year.

GlaxoSmithKline expects to seek U.S. and EU approval during the second half of this year for Tykerb, a breast-cancer drug. Additionally, the company plans to file an application with the FDA in late 2006 for Arixtra, a treatment for a group of heart-related ailments called acute coronary syndrome.

The company's shares rose $2.38, or 4.5%, to $55.45.