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Takeda agrees $630m takeover of TiGenix

Published on 05/01/18 at 09:33am

Takeda already had a strong working relationship with TiGenix, after previously signing a licensing agreement with the Belgium-based pharma company on a treatment for Crohn’s disease. It has now moved to cement the relationship, with a takeover of its smaller partner.

The deal works out at an all-cash offer of $630 million, a proposal that has already been accepted by TiGenix’s board of directions, including its CEO.

The deal makes sense for Takeda, given that it had already agreed to licensing agreement for Cx601 that included sales milestones payment totalling up to €405 million. It was revealed late in December 2017 that the CHMP had recommended the treatment for Crohn’s to be approved by the European Commission.

Back in October 2017, TiGenix had also received Orphan Drug Designation from the FDA for the treatment, whilst it is also conducting a global Phase 3 trial in order to support a BLA.

The therapy would be used in second-line treatment of complex perianal fistulas in patients with non-active/mildly active luminal Crohn’s disease. Peak sales estimates for the drug have been pegged at $900 million.

In addition to Cx601, TiGenix also has a further two drug candidates that are both at the Phase 1/2, with Cx611, a treatment for severe sepsis, and AlloCSC-01, a treatment for acute ischemic heart disease.

The main draw for Takeda, however, will be in boosting its own gastroenterology portfolio – a core focus for the company alongside oncology and CNS.

“As a leader in gastroenterology, Takeda recognizes the complex physical, emotional and social barriers that people living with fistulising Crohn’s disease experience,” said Andrew Plump, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer, Takeda. “Limited treatment options exist today and I believe we can be most effective in serving this population by working in collaboration with partners whose unique skill sets allow us to more efficiently explore innovative approaches, including stem cell therapies. I have had the opportunity to work alongside the TiGenix team throughout our collaboration and know that we have shared goals and varied, but complementary expertise. I am thrilled at the prospect of welcoming them as part of our organization.”

The deal represents a greater shift at the company to drive growth through being prepared to make acquisitions, under CEO Christophe Weber. So far, Takeda has stuck to relatively small deals, such as this one, that are easy to integrate into the overall business.

The last large deal it struck, by its own standards, was a $5.2 billion acquisition of Ariad Pharmaceuticals, which still managed to draw criticism as being overpriced.

Ben Hargreaves

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