Updated July 29 at 5:44pm

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biotechnology

Without tax benefit, Alexion profit drops in 4Q to $26.5M from $237.1M

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SMITHFIELD - Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc., the Cheshire, Conn.-based manufacturer of Soliris, a drug used to treat a rare, life-threatening blood disorder, released its fourth-quarter and full-year results Thursday.

Net income for Alexion totaled $97.03 million, or $1.04 per diluted share, compared with 2009 totals of $295.17 million, or $3.26 per share. The company’s previous year results had been helped by a $215.5 million non-recurring tax benefit.

For the full year, product sales were $540.96 million, up from $386.8 million a year earlier.

Fourth-quarter 2010 profit fell to $26.45 million, or 28 cents per diluted share, from $237.13 million, or $2.59 per share, as seen in the fourth quarter of 2009, which is when the company took that $215.5 million tax benefit.

Product sales increased to $155.98 million for the three months ended Dec. 31 from $110.65 million.

In January and February 2011, Alexion used $114 million of available cash for acquisitions. The company announced an upfront cash payment of $3 million – plus contingent payments based on various development, regulatory and commercial milestones - for the purchase of patents and assets from Germany-based Orphatec Pharmaceuticals GmbH related to an investigational therapy for patients with molybdenum cofactor deficiency Type A.

On Jan. 31, Alexion acquired Taligen Therapeutics Inc., a privately-held development-stage biotechnology company based in Cambridge, Mass., for an upfront cash payment of $111 million.

In announcing the results, Alexion highlighted the market performance of Soliris, which is the only drug specifically indicated for the treatment of patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, a rare, debilitating and life-threatening blood disease.

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