Japanese drugmaker, Astellas, which was recently formed from the $7.7 billion dollar merger between Yamanouchi and Fujisawa [[01/04/05c]], says that it is expecting net income for the coming year to top 104 billion yen, representing a 75% rise over Fujisawa and Yamanouchi’s combined 2004 financials.

On an individual basis, both companies were hampered by merger-related costs, with Yamanouchi reporting a 44% decline in twelve-month net income to 33.7 billion yen, and a 13% dip in sales to 447 billion yen. Fujisawa saw 40% wiped off its profits for the year, which came in at 25.8 billion yen, while sales managed a 5% rise to 415 billion yen.

However, investors were broadly disappointed with the merged firm’s projection of 885 billion yen in sales for 2005, which is just 3% higher than the previous year, and comes in below consensus estimates. Nevertheless, Astellas is targeting almost a 15% rise in sales from its prescription drugs business, led by an estimated 10% increase in revenues from the Prograf (tacrolimus) immunosuppressant, which is expected to bring in over 133 billion yen in 2005. The overactive bladder treatment, Vesicare (solifenacin), looks set to see sales rise by 15% to around 17 billion yen. On the down side, sales of the incontinence treatment, Harnal (tamsulosin), will be virtually flat at 137 billion yen.

- Meanwhile, Astellas says that it has decided to withdraw from its medical supplies and systems business by the end of September. The former Fujisawa had been handling reagents researches provided by Becton, Dickinson and Abbott Laboratories, and these operations will now be transferred to the Japanese subsidiaries of Becton and Dickinson.