"2019 was a year of strong delivery and growth. Hence, we have updated the peak sales guidance for Cimzia® and Vimpat® and we continue to accelerate our investments into future growth drivers," said Jean-Christophe Tellier, CEO UCB. "Based on our promising late-stage pipeline and the pending Ra Pharma acquisition, we could potentially launch up to 7 products by 2025 to create patient value for specific populations now and into the future. Also, we focus on four sustainability areas that are critical to our long-term success and our contribution to society." In December, UCB launched Nayzilam®(midazolam) Nasal Spray CIV, the first and only nasal rescue treatment for seizure clusters in the U.S. Nayzilam® nasal spray was approved in the U.S. in May 2019. Keppra® (levetiracetam) for epilepsy, reported net sales of € 770 million, reflecting both, the strong, trusted brand and the maturity of the product. Operating expenses reached € 2 527 million (+9%; +6% CER) reflecting 15% higher marketing and selling expenses of € 1 108 million - driven by the launch of Cimzia® in psoriasis in the U.S. and Europe and in active non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA) in the U.S. as well as launch preparations for Evenity® in Europe, 10% higher research and development expenses of € 1 272 million – driven by higher R&D investments and resulting in a R&D ratio of 26% in 2019 after 25% in 2018 and 8% higher general and administrative expenses of € 195 million, mainly in connection with the new organization model implemented in 2019.
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