By Sam Nussey
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd on Monday forecast a 17 percent fall in operating profit for the year through March 2019 as blood cancer drug Velcade looks set to lose exclusivity in the U.S.
The decline, which is likely to be partly offset by growing sales of drugs such as bowel disease treatment Entyvio and heartburn and ulcer drug Takecab, underscores Takeda's need to bolster its pipeline. It also comes days after it agreed to a record-breaking $62 billion deal to acquire London-listed Shire.
Profit for the year ended March 2018 grew 55 percent to 241.8 billion yen ($2.21 billion) - its highest in six years.
The Shire acquisition is expected to add strength in rare diseases and blood-derived therapies to Takeda's three core areas of gastroenterology, oncology and neuroscience. It will also result in the U.S. market accounting for almost half of sales from a third currently.
Rare disease treatments are seen as more sheltered from price pressures in the U.S. affecting areas like oncology.
($1 = 109.3600 yen)
(Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Edwina Gibbs and Himani Sarkar)
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