Reorg, new meds help Takeda crawl out of profit hole

Takeda

Last year, with fiscal year 2014 drawing to a close, new Takeda CEO Christophe Weber promised a year of growth for the struggling drugmaker. And now, he’s delivered on that promise.

A company-wide reorganization--as well as new drugs--helped aid the turnaround for the year ended March 2016, the Japanese pharma said Tuesday. Those factors helped operating profit reach 130.8 billion yen, climbing out of a 129.3 billion-yen hole from the fiscal year prior and exceeding Takeda’s own guidance of 120 billion yen.

Takeda first announced plans for the reorg, dubbed Project Summit, in September 2014, back before newcomer Weber--then the COO--officially took up the CEO’s chair. And so far, he said, it’s been paying off, as the effort “well exceeded” its full-year target to tally 30 billion yen in extra cost savings.

Cost-cutting alone wasn’t enough to get things back on track, though, and Takeda has a pair of newcomer meds to thank for help in the revenue department. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease med Entyvio and recently approved multiple myeloma novice Ninlaro both did their parts to help reported revenue increase 1.7% for the year; Entyvio, in particular, spurred a 23.6% year-over-year sales leap for the company’s GI portfolio, and it’s on track to exceed $2 billion in constant currencies within Takeda’s 2018 fiscal year, the company said.

Takeda was thankful for those performances, especially considering the bust that was its marketing partnership on obesity med Contrave. The Orexigen-made product, like its rival meds in the field, struggled to record significant uptake, leading Takeda to back out of a partnership it was counting on for serious contributions.

And what’s more, the Entyvio and Ninlaro recorded early success despite a raft of competition. Entyvio went up against serious heavyweights, including some of the world’s best-selling meds in AbbVie’s Humira and Amgen’s Enbrel. And Takeda was one of multiple drugmakers to snag an FDA approval in myeloma late last year, with Johnson & Johnson’s Darzalex and Bristol Myers Squibb and AbbVie’s Empliciti also nabbing regulatory go-aheads.

With those launches in mind, the company predicts more--and greater--revenue growth ahead. It unveiled sales guidance in the mid-single-digits range, as well as underlying core earnings and underlying core EPS expansion in the low- to mid-teens.

- read the release 

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