By Rocky Swift
TOKYO (Reuters) -Japan’s biggest drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical on Thursday slashed its full-year profit forecast by 36% as it contends with disappointments in its development pipeline and the loss of patent protection on key products.
Takeda lowered its operating profit forecast to 225 billion yen ($1.5 billion) in the financial year ending March 2024, it said in mid-year results.
The forecast is well below its earlier guidance of 349 billion yen and consensus expectations for full-year operating profit of 400.3 billion yen, based on an LSEG survey of 17 analysts.
The company posted operating earnings of 490.5 billion yen the previous year.
Takeda has flagged this year as a rebuilding phase. It is seeking to deepen its bench of drugs in development as it loses sales exclusivity on main sellers, such as blood pressure drug Azilva in Japan and hyperactivity drug Vyvanse in the United States.
But that effort has been dealt setbacks from recent clinical trial failures of lung cancer treatment Exkivity and Crohn’s disease drug Alofisel.
Impairment losses in the second quarter ended Sept. 30 for Exkivity and Alofisel will hurt reported operating income, while core operating profit is still expected to exceed 1 trillion yen this fiscal year, in line with previous guidance, Takeda said.
A bright spot has been the company’s dengue vaccine QDENGA, approved by regulators in Europe and other regions over the last year.
Takeda voluntarily pulled its application for the shot in the U.S. in July, citing data collection issues. But demand for the vaccine is expected to grow as climate change expands the reach of the tropical disease, which sickens millions every year.
Its pipeline also includes an experimental psoriasis drug that it agreed to buy last year from U.S.-based Nimbus Therapeutics for as much as $6 billion, marking its first major purchase since its $59 billion takeover of Shire Plc in 2019.
($1 = 150.3800 yen)
(Reporting by Rocky Swift; Editing by Jamie Freed and Lincoln Feast)
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