Takeda Pharmaceutical of Japan has posted a healthy set of results for its fiscal first quarter ended June 30 which show that sales were up 5.6% to 313.4 billion yen, while net income climbed 28.3% to 115.2 billion yen.

Turnover was driven by strong sales and royalties from the diabetes drug Actos (pioglitazone), up 20% to 55.5 billion yen, while revenues from the antihypertensive Blopress (candesartan) climbed 26.4% to 49.2 billion yen. Lupron (leuprorelin), a treatment for prostate cancer and endometriosis, increased 5.9% to 32.4 billion yen, while sales of the antiulcerant Takepron (lansoprazole) edged up 1.5% to 46.6 billion yen. The performance of these drugs offset a weaker contribution to earnings from TAP Pharmaceutical, Takeda’s US joint venture with Abbott Laboratories.

The company’s R&D spend was up 29.3% to 34.5 billion yen and this tactic seems to be paying dividends given that the US Food and Drug Administration has just approved its new insomnia drug Rozerem (ramelteon) [[25/07/05a]]. Earlier this year, Takeda acquired US biotechnology company Syrrx for about $270 million in a bid to boost its pipeline [[08/02/05d]].

For the full fiscal year to March 2006, Takeda chose to leave its earnings forecasts unchanged (295 billion yen for net income on sales of 1.15 trillion yen).

- Meanwhile, Takeda says it has won a fast track designation from the US Food and Drug Administration for its severe sepsis treatment TAK-242. The compound is designed to suppress the Toll-like receptor 4, which is one of the receptors able to recognise the bacteria responsible for sepsis. Phase I studies have been conducted in the USA, Europe and Japan, with one multi-country pivotal study scheduled to begin this month.