Astellas, the latest Japanese drugmaker to file financials for the first six months of fiscal 2010, has posted a significant slide in earnings and once again cut its forecasts for the year ending in March.

Net income fell 47.4% to 43.89 billion yen, about $545.9 million, due in part to costs associated with its $3.54 billion acquisition of OSI Pharmaceuticals completed in June. Sales were down 6.7% to 461.73 billion yen.

The decrease was a result of generic competition in the USA to the immunosuppressant Prograf (tacrolimus), sales of which were down 20.8% to 81.60 billion yen. Harnal (tamsulosin) for benign prostatic hyperplasia, sold as Omnic in Europe and Flomax in the USA, slumped 46.5% to 33.40 billion yen, also as a result of the loss of patent protection.

Vesicare (solifenacin) for overactive bladder was up 4.0% to 41.70 billion yen, while the antifungal agent Funguard/Mycamine (micafungin) had sales of 12.20 billion yen, an increase of 18.2%. Revenues from the cholesterol blockbuster Lipitor (atorvastatin), which Astellas markets in Japan in collaboration with the product's originator Pfizer, were down 2.6% to 48.00 billion yen.

For the full year, the Tokyo-based drugmaker says it now expects net profit of 82 billion yen, which would represent a fall of around 33%. In August, Astellas forecast profits of 94 billion yen and in May, it had been expecting net income of 107 billion yen, though its sales forecast has been upped some 3% to 942 billion yen.

At the end of last week, fellow Japanese firm Takeda also posted a fall in net income for the April-September period, down 24.0% to 144.21 billion yen. Sales fell 5.5% to 714.03 billion yen, hurt by a 42.5% decline to 75.20 billion yen for the gastrointestinal drug Prevacid/Takepron (lansoprazole), which is suffering from patent loss in the USA.

Takeda’s biggest earner, the diabetes drug Actos (pioglitazone), brought in 195.60 billion yen, up 0.8%, while sales of the blood pressure drug Blopress (candesartan cilexetil) decreased 1.3% to 108.90 billion yen. Turnover from the prostate and breast cancer treatment Leuplin (leuprorelin) fell 3.7% to 56.00 billion yen.

On the positive side, Takeda added that sales increased in the USA for Velcade (bortezomib), for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma, up 12% to 25.60 billion yen. The new gout drug Uloric (febuxostat) and Dexilant/Kapidex (dexlansoprazole), a reformulated version of Prevacid, also contributed to growth.

For the full year, Takeda has upped its net profit guidance to 230 billion yen from an earlier forecast of 220 billion yen.

Daiichi Sankyo's results made for better reading than its Japanese counterparts, with net income leaping 179.0% to 52.15 billion yen, while sales climbed 6.0% to 498.89 billion yen.

The rises were due to the sales of the antihypertensive Olmetec (olmesartan), up 6.2% to 121.60 billion yen. However the most significant contributions came from Ranbaxy Laboratories, the Indian drugmaker in which Daiichi Sankyo has a controlling stake. Sales there leapt 49.0% to 98.50 billion yen, driven by US sales from the antiviral valacyclovir.

Daiichi Sankyo upped its guidance for the full year, saying it expects a 31% rise in net profit to 55 billion yen, compared to an earlier forecast of 45 billion yen.