Takeda swings to profit in fourth quarter, as sales rise 7.6%

Headline results for the fourth quarter:

Revenue

JPY 771.7 billion ($7.2 billion)

+7.6%

Profit

JPY 1.6 billion ($15 million)

Versus loss of JPY 29.3 billion ($274 million)

Note: All changes are versus the prior-year period unless otherwise stated

What the company said:

CEO Christophe Weber remarked that "our transformation into a top 10 global biopharmaceutical company," following Takeda's $62-billion purchase of Shire early in 2019, "accelerated this year and helped us deliver another set of excellent results." He added "we're fully operating as one Takeda, with growth driven by our five key business areas and a geographic footprint aligned with global market opportunities."

The Japanese drugmaker noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has so far caused "limited impact" on sales as many of its medicines are for severe chronic or life-threatening diseases, without the requirement of a hospital elective procedure.

Other results:

  • Gastroenterology product sales: JPY 164.7 billion ($1.5 billion), up 12.5%
    • Entyvio: JPY 83.7 billion ($782 million), up 22.7%, with growth in the US and Europe driven by further penetration in the bio-naïve segment in ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease
  • Neuroscience product sales: JPY 108 billion ($1 billion), up 33.4%
    • Vyvanse: JPY 67.3 billion ($629 million), up 36.3%
    • Trintellix: JPY 16.4 billion ($153 million), up 26.7%, driven by an increase in new patients and improved persistence on therapy
  • Oncology product sales: JPY 103 billion ($962 million), up 11%
    • Velcade: JPY 27.5 billion ($257 million), down 0.1%
    • Ninlaro: JPY 19.5 billion ($182 million),  up 24.1%, reflecting "strong growth" particularly in the US and China
    • Adcetris: JPY 13.2 billion ($123 million), up 21.6%, boosted by "strong growth" in Japan where it obtained approval as a front-line treatment for CD30-positive Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Plasma-derived therapy sales: JPY 97.6 billion ($912 million), up 20.5%, predominantly due to the addition of products obtained through the acquisition of Shire
  • Rare haematology product sales: JPY 75 billion ($701 million), up 12.5%
    • Advate: JPY 34.8 billion ($325 million), up 8.3%
  • Rare metabolic product sales: JPY 38.5 billion ($360 million), down 8.9%
  • Hereditary angioedema (HAE) product sales: JPY 35.8 billion ($334 million), up 75.5%
    • Takhzyro: JPY 19.4 billion ($181 million), up 99.7%
    • Firazyr: JPY 9.9 billion ($92 million), up 54.9%
  • US revenue: JPY 380.3 billion ($3.6 billion), up 14%
  • European and Canadian revenue: JPY 162 billion ($1.5 billion), up 0.8%
  • Japanese revenue: JPY 125.4 billion ($1.2 billion), down 1.2%
  • Growth and emerging markets revenue: JPY 104.1 billion ($973 million), up 8.6%
  • Full-year revenue: JPY 3.3 trillion ($30.8 billion), up 56.9% in its first full year following the acquisition of Shire
  • Full-year profit: JPY 44.2 billion ($413 million), down 67.3%

Looking ahead:

For the full year ending March 2021, Takeda forecasts sales of JPY 3.25 trillion ($30.4 billion), representing a 1.3% year-over-year decline, with profit of JPY 60 billion ($561 million). Takeda expects its financial results for the fiscal year "will not be materially affected" by the COVID-19 pandemic, although the company warned that the situation "remains highly fluid" and could result in further or more serious disruptions to its business.

Pipeline updates:

Takeda indicated that due to the coronavirus outbreak, it has placed a temporary halt on the initiation of new studies, with the exception of CoVIg-19, an investigational plasma-derived therapy for COVID-19. Meanwhile, for ongoing trials, the drugmaker has temporarily paused the activation of new study sites and new patient enrollment, with a small number of exceptions.

The company also disclosed that since its last update in February, it has discontinued Phase I testing of TAK‐164 for gastro-intestinal malignancies as "clinical results do not justify continued development." In addition, findings from a Phase III study of Ninlaro (ixazomib) in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma showed that adding the drug to Bristol Myers Squibb's Revlimid (lenalidomide) and dexamethasone improved progression-free survival by a median 13.5 months, although the result was not significant, with a hazard ratio of 0.83.

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