Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Thursday its first-quarter profit rose 44 percent on a boost in sales of the blood disorder treatment Soliris, its only marketed product.

The company earned $20.9 million, or 23 cents per share, up from $14.5 million, or 16 cents per share, during the same period a year prior. Revenue rose 45 percent to $117.6 million from $81.3 million.

Excluding costs related to stock-based compensation and other items, the company said it earned 37 cents per share.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected profit of 34 cents per share on $116 million in revenue.

Soliris treats a rare chronic disease called paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, which causes a breakdown of red blood cells and leads to anemia.

Looking ahead, the company expects adjusted profit between $1.60 and $1.65 per share on sales between $505 million and $520 million in 2010, unchanged from guidance provided in February. Analysts are looking for profit of $1.63 per share on revenue of $521.4 million, on average.

In morning trading, shares of Alexion fell 12 cents to $55.73.