Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical has posted a disappointing set of results for the year to March 2005, which show a fall of 2.7% to 277.4 billion yen ($2.6 billion), the first earnings decline the company has posted for 11 years.

The firm’s sales increased 3.4% to 1.12 trillion yen, helped by strong domestic revenues of drugs such as the anti-hypertensive Blopress (candesartan), which had sales in Japan of 103.5 billion yen, up 11.6%. Domestic turnover of the diabetes agent Basen (voglibose), was up 8.1% to 61.5 billion yen, while Japanese sales of another treatment in the diabetes portfolio, Actos (pioglitazone), rose 33.6% to 15.5 billion yen. Lupron (leuprorelin), a treatment for prostate cancer, and the osteoporosis drug Benet (risedronate) both made useful contributions to domestic sales.

However, it was abroad that Takeda came somewhat unstuck with a weaker contribution to profits from TAP Pharmaceutical, its US joint venture with Abbott Laboratories, down to 45.4 billion yen from 72.7 billion yen last year. The decline was due to falling sales of the gastrointestinal drug Prevacid (lansoprazole), but Takeda believes that the drop will be stemmed this year.

Nevertheless, total overseas drug sales were up 3.5% to 462.9 billion yen and Takeda is also enthusiastic about its pipeline, having submitted an earlier-than-scheduled New Drug Application to the US Food and Drug Administration for its insomnia drug TAK-375 (ramelteon) last September[[24/09/04c]]. It also has high hopes for future drug candidates to come from Syrrx, the US biotechnology firm Takeda acquired for about $270 million earlier this year [[08/02/05d]].

Given these factors, and an upturn in TAP’s fortunes, for the year to March 2006, Takeda expects net income to rise to 295 billion yen.