Operating profit over the quarter reached $637m (€466m) at the Israeli company, with net profit of $515m. The favourable comparison between the results of this second quarter with Q2 2006 was quite an achievement in Teva's eyes, as figures from the equivalent period in 2006 were boosted by the major launches of both simvastatin and pravastatin. Despite these significant launches, the company reported figures for Q2 2007 that were even better than the comparable period in 2006, with net sales 10 per cent up on Q2 2006. Sales for the quarter increased across all geographies, with European pharmaceutical sales up 13 per cent year on year, to hit $556m. Strong performance in the company's generics business in the UK, France, Spain and Germany contributed to this growth, along with increased UK sales from the company's new respiratory business. Copaxone, Teva's non-interferon treatment for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, performed particularly strongly over the quarter, with in-market sales 23 per cent up on the same period in 2006 to hit $436m. Driven by increased prices as well as increased unit sales, performance improved particularly in major European markets such as Germany, France, Spain and the UK. Teva's active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) sales to third parties over Q2 were comparable with the same period last year, with figures totalling £143m, though total API sales (including internal sales to Teva businesses) were down 6 per cent to $334m. Despite this deflated figure, however, the company actually sold 19 per cent more in terms of volume than in the comparable period in 2006. Teva launched 19 products over the first half 2007, including the earlier than anticipated exclusive launch of the generic version of Novartis' hypertension drug, Lotrel. The generic drug was approved by the FDA in May this year, and according to Teva has achieved penetration of 80 per cent and given the company 90 per cent market share. The company currently has 153 abbreviated new drug applications filed with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and awaiting approval, with combined annual US sales of their branded counterparts of around $89bn. Across Europe, the firm has 134 compounds awaiting approval, corresponding to 280 formulations and over 2,000 dossiers. Teva has also benefited from the trend to convert to CFC-free inhaler products. Although not as significant as the US drive to convert to HFA inhalers, a notable shift in Italy, France and the UK to CFC-free devices has lead to s good performance from the company's new respiratory business. The main driver for the unit has been sales of the ProAir brand, which according to Teva has captured over 60 per cent of the HFA market. Encouraged by the significant uptake and impressive market share, Teva has invested in increasing production capacity for ProAir inhaler products and believes it is set to benefit from the conversion trend through 2008. Teva is also looking forward to a future in which biopharmaceuticals, specifically biogeneric products, are likely to play an increasing role. In a conference call announcing the company's second quarter results, CEO Shlomo Yanai was enthusiastic regarding the proposed legislation in the US that would allow cheaper biologic medicines onto the US market. Already having submitted its first biogeneric file with the European authorities earlier this year and another in Switzerland just last week, Teva is hoping to build on the biogeneric products that it already markets in other parts of the world. "We believe that efforts such as those of the US Congress reveal a growing awareness of the real solutions that generics can offer to patients as well as payers," said Yanai. "Biogenerics will be a long-term growth driver for Teva."