Japan's largest drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical Co has posted its first-ever quarterly operating loss due to the $8.8 billion acquisition of the USA’s Millennium Pharmaceuticals, but has still raised its full-year earnings forecast.

For the fiscal first quarter ended June 30, operating loss was 27.18 billion yen (around $251.7 million) compared with a profit of 153.12 billion yen for the like, year-earlier period. Net income sank 98.1% to 2.49 billion yen. The figures were impacted by the absorption of TAP Pharmaceuticals, Takeda’s former joint venture with Abbott Laboratories in the USA as well as the Millennium deal.

Revenues rose 8.3% to 396.88 billion yen, driven by the diabetes drug Actos (pioglitazone), which brought in 103.3 billion yen, down 3.1% as a result of the impact of foreign exchange rates. Blood pressure drug Blopress (candesartan cilexetil) posted a 8.2% increase in sales to 59.9 billion yen, while gastrointestinal drug Prevacid/Takepron (lansoprazole) leapt 77.2% to 72.4 billion yen, boosted by the US sales from TAP. Turnover from the prostate cancer treatment Leuplin (leuprorelin) was down 3.4% to 32.7 billion yen.

Takeda said that the fiscal year to March 2009 will see “a concentration in expenses” from acquisitions, leading to “a temporary decrease in profit”. However, it notes that these costs are “strengthening our business foundation” and boost earnings in the mid-to-long term.

Indeed, despite the losses, Takeda raised its full-year guidance for net income to 200 billion yen (+25%) and operating profit to 280 billion yen (+16.7%), while leaving its sales estimates unchanged at 1.57 trillion yen.

Meantime The Times of India has reported that Takeda is looking at Ahmedabad-based Torrent Pharmaceuticals as a possible acquisition.

An unnamed source is quoted by the newspaper as saying that “talks between Takeda and Torrent have reached the price negotiation stage” and meetings were held in a Mumbai hotel last week. However The Times, which also claims that Torrent was previously in merger talks with Sun Pharma, then goes on to quote a spokesperson from the former as saying that “there is no move on the part of the promoters of Torrent Pharma or its management to sell a stake, in part or in whole, to any players, national or global”.