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Japan-Update

Kyorin profit seen rebounding with 10% gain in fiscal 2017

Japanese drugmaker's asthma treatment expected to fill gap as patents expire

TOKYO -- Kyorin Holdings likely will enjoy a 10% rise in group operating profit for the year ending in March 2018 as a profitable asthma treatment takes off in Japan.

The Japanese drugmaker looks to log around 11 billion yen ($101 million) in black ink. Sales are seen slipping 3% to 112 billion yen after Kipres, a leading allergy medicine, went off-patent last autumn. Other hot sellers such as an antihistamine are unable to close the ensuing gap.

But Flutiform, a newly formulated asthma inhaler, is expected to prop up profit. Sales may grow by double digits as physicians become more aware of the treatment, accelerating switches from rival drugs. Efforts to trim administrative, sales and general expenses also should lift profit, along with one-time payments on drug candidates being developed by overseas pharmaceutical companies.

Kyorin's profit is thought to have plunged 49% to around 10 billion yen for the year ended March 31, with sales slipping 4% to 115 billion yen. Both figures are in line with previous company estimates. Cuts to drug prices ate into earnings at home, while generic rivals chipped away at the market share of Mucodyne, a treatment for respiratory congestion. Fiscal 2016 earnings are due out May 11.

(Nikkei)

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