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Forest Labs profit rises due to depression and Alzheimer's drugs

Drug developer Forest Laboratories Inc. said Tuesday its fiscal third-quarter profit rose 20.6 percent on higher sales of its depression treatment Lexapro and Alzheimer's drug Namenda.

The company earned $301.8 million, or 96 cents per share, compared with profit of $250.3 million, or 78 cents per share, during the same period a year prior.

Forest Laboratories is a pharmaceutical company headquartered in New York City, USA. Its revenues for the year ended 31 March 2007 were US$3.4 billion. The company's research & development spending has grown rapidly in recent years and as of 2007 its R&D spending, almost a billion US dollars a year, put it on the list of the global top 100 corporations in R&D spending. Forest Laboratories is also known for licensing European pharmaceuticals for sale in the United States.

One of Forest Laboratories best sellers is the antidepressant Lexapro, which was developed in cooperation with Danish company Lundbeck. Forest also has a drug for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease called Namenda. Namenda has been licensed in Europe for the last 30 years approx. but has only been licensed in the USA in the last two.

Both Lexapro and Namenda are produced in bulk at the Forest plant in Dublin, Ireland, with secondary processing such as bottling and blistering being carried out in the USA at plants in New York and St. Louis. Other products include Benicar and Campral. Benicar is used in the treatment of hypertension. Campral is for the maintenance of abstinence from alcohol in patients with alcohol dependence. Other products include Tiazac, Armour Thyroid, Levothroid, Thyrolar, Cervidil, Infasurf, Combunox, and Aerobid.

Forest Laboratories is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under FRX.

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