Takeda Pharmaceutical has reported a 12 per cent hike in sales to 787bn yen in its first-half results for the financial year, despite the loss of patent protection for its bestselling diabetes drug Actos in the US.
As expected, Actos (pioglitazone) saw its sales slump 46 per cent to 92bn yen, while there were also significant declines for other drugs exposed to generic competition, notably antihypertensive Blopress (candesartan) which was down 21 per cent to 89bn yen.
The revenue increase posted by Takeda in the first half mainly came as a result of acquisitions, particularly US drugmaker URL Pharma and Nycomed, said Takeda, adding that its net profit fell nearly 12 per cent to 120bn yen.
On the plus side, there were positive contributions from multiple myeloma drug Velcade (bortezomib), up 27 per cent to 36bn yen, while in Japan, combination diabetes drug Nesina (alogliptin and metformin) added 15bn yen to Takeda's coffers, three times the sales level last year. Nesina has also been filed for approval in the US and EU.
Colorectal cancer drug Vectibix (panitumumab) grew 19 per cent to just under 10bn yen, and there were also gains for gastroesophageal reflux disease treatment Dexilant (dexlansoprazole) and Uloric (febuxostat) for gout.
Meanwhile, Takeda says it has been granted conditional approval in the EU for lymphoma drug Adcetris and says it plans to launch it in the coming weeks.
Adectris (brentuximab vedotin) - an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) developed by Takeda's Millennium oncology unit and Seattle Genetics - has been cleared in Europe for two indications: Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) and anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL).
Specifically, the drug can be used for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory CD30-positive HL - provided they have already been treated with either an autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) or at least two prior therapies.
Takeda says that Adcetris is the first targeted therapy to be approved in the EU for relapsed or refractory CD30-positive HL in more than 30 years. It has also been given a green light for use in adult patients with relapsed or refractory systemic ALCL.
Last year, Adcetris was approved for the same indications in the US - where Seattle Genetics has marketing rights - and pulled in around $70m in sales in the first half of this year. It is predicted to reach around $500m a year at peak.