Astellas pares profit forecast despite Q1 gains for cancer drugs

Headline results for the first quarter:

  • Revenue: JPY 326.1 billion ($3 billion), up 6.2%
  • Profit: JPY 30.7 billion ($280 million), down 39.1%

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

What the company said:

Astellas stated that revenues for XtandiXospataPadcev and Evrenzo "increased as expected" during the first quarter. Other factors that bolstered the company's performance include sales growth for Betanis/Myrbetriq/Betmiga to treat overactive bladder, plus Lexiscan revenues returning to pre-pandemic levels. The company said these gains were offset mainly due to the termination of sales promotion activities for the anti-inflammatory Celecox, the transfer of manufacturing rights of Lipitor, and the divestiture of Eligard for the treatment of prostate cancer.

Other results:

  • Xtandi: JPY 132.9 billion ($1.2 billion), up 18.7%, with sales climbing all regions, and demand in China growing "higher than expected" due to reimbursement
  • Prograf: JPY 45.2 billion ($412 million), down 0.3%, with growth in Europe and
  • China offset by sales decreases in the US and Japan
  • Betanis, Myrbetriq and Betmiga: JPY 44 billion ($401 million), up 8.8%, due to increase in demand in China, where reimbursement started in March
  • Xospata: JPY 8.3 billion ($76 million), up 47.7%, expanding globally, especially in the US and Europe, with contribution from sales in China, where the drug was launched in April
  • Vesicare: JPY 7.4 billion ($67 million), down 4.4%,
  • Padcev: JPY 4.2 billion ($38 million), up 41.9%, reflecting stead growth in the US
  • Evrenzo: JPY 600 million ($5 million), with sales rising "steadily" in Japan, where it was approved last November to treat anaemia of chronic kidney disease, driven by increased adoption in major institutions

Looking ahead:

Astellas is maintaining its full fiscal-year forecast of sales totaling JPY 1.3 trillion ($11.8 billion), but lowering its profit outlook to JPY 183 billion ($1.7 billion) from an estimate of JPY 209 billion ($1.9 billion) previously.

Pipeline update:

The Japanese drugmaker said the downward profit revision took into account impairment losses related to the termination of development projects for the DNA vaccine ASP0892, which was in Phase I development for peanut allergy, and the anti-CD40 monoclonal antibody bleselumab, which was in Phase II for recurrence of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis in de novo kidney transplant recipients.

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