AsianScientist (Oct. 7, 2012) – Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Takeda America Holdings, Inc., will acquire LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals for an upfront payment of US$60 million, it said in a press release on Friday.
Headquartered in Bozeman, Montana, LigoCyte is a privately-held biopharmaceutical company whose lead product, a vaccine to prevent norovirus gastroenteritis, is in Phase I/II of clinical development.
“Takeda’s acquisition of LigoCyte is a major step forward in the expansion of Takeda’s vaccine business, and a demonstration of Takeda’s dedication to preventing illness in children and adults around the world,” said Rajeev Venkayya, M.D., executive vice president of Takeda’s Vaccine Business Division (VBD), which was launched in January 2012.
“Norovirus is the most common cause of outbreaks of gastroenteritis and foodborne illness in the U.S., and is responsible for 200,000 deaths each year, most of them in developing countries. With the only norovirus vaccine in clinical trials today, Takeda will be in a position to change this picture.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, norovirus infects 21 million people in the United States each year. In recent years, norovirus has become recognized as the most common cause of outbreak and foodborne gastroenteritis in developed countries.
In addition to the norovirus vaccine candidate, LigoCyte has also initiated preclinical development of vaccines against respiratory syncytial virus, influenza, and rotavirus.
Takeda will continue operating LigoCyte in Bozeman, Montana, for the foreseeable future and intends to retain the management team and its employees.
Pending the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, the deal is expected to close by end of November 2012.
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