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Sales Advance at Noven

Earnings are better than expected for the first quarter.

Noven Pharmaceuticals

(NOVN) - Get Novan, Inc. Report

, a developer of prescription-drug patches, recorded strong first-quarter revenue growth and said earnings exceeded analysts' estimates.

For the three months ended March 31, net income rose to $5 million from $500,000 last year. Diluted earnings per share climbed to 20 cents from 2 cents in the year-ago period and beat the Thomson Financial consensus target of 18 cents.

Net revenue for the most recent quarter increased 90% to $19.3 million, primarily because of $4.4 million in Daytrana product sales to



and $3 million in license revenue from the same patch, a treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Shire markets the product.

Noven's Chief Financial Officer Diane Barrett said during a conference call Monday that sales of Daytrana to Shire for the full year should be $16 million to $20 million.

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Also boosting the top line were higher hormone-therapy product sales to Novogyne Pharmaceuticals, the women's health joint venture between Noven and


(NVS) - Get Novartis AG Report


Product sales, which exclude contract and license revenue, totaled $15.6 million for the first quarter, compared with $8.6 million in the same period of 2006.

The company expects that the first six months of the year will account for more than half of its total revenue for 2007 because of back orders from the final quarter of last year that were filled in the first quarter.

Barrett says the guidance regarding Daytrana includes replacement products for a recall on the patch. Some of the patches had problems with their adhesive and were difficult to peel.

"That issue impacted about 2% of prescriptions," said Joseph Jones, vice president of corporate affairs, on the conference call. "The enhancements took place in the first quarter, and those products are in the channel as we speak. There will be no further implications in the next quarter from replacing that product."

Looking forward, Robert Strauss, chief executive and chairman, said the company is working on five or more experimental products and is seeking an acquisition to add a commercialization arm that would increase its sales force by 50 to 100 representatives.

Shares of Noven were recently up 29 cents, or 1.2%, to $24.20.