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Wyeth Results Up on Growing Vaccine Revenues

Wyeth said quarterly earnings rose a better-than-expected 12% on strong sales of its vaccine against childhood infections, and reported positive trial results for its most important experimental drug.

The trial data shows low doses of Pristiq were effective against both depression and hot flashes and caused less nausea than seen in prior studies of higher doses. Although the new data will take more time for regulators to analyze, it could bolster prospects for its eventual approval and commercial success.

Pristiq is now awaiting U.S. approval as a treatment for both conditions. But Wyeth and investors have been concerned about a high incidence of nausea seen among patients who took the drug in earlier trials to treat depression and hot flashes.

Wyeth expects the FDA to extend its hot-flashes review by three months to examine data from the low-dose trials and expects the agency to decide by the first quarter of 2008 whether to approve Pristiq as a treatment for depression.

The company earned $1.25 billion, or 92 cents a share, compared with $1.12 billion, or 82 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

Excluding special items, Wyeth earned 94 cents a share. Analysts on average expected 87 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Total revenue in the period increased 11% to $5.4 billion for the 2007 first quarter. Prevnar, Wyeth's vaccine for infections, was the biggest gainer by sales in the quarter,
jumping 43% to $617 million.

Antidepressant Effexor continued to be Wyeth's top seller at $891 million in the period, but sales slid 6% from a year earlier due to increased competition.

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