Takeda to Buy Cancer Drug Maker Ariad for $5.2 Billion

The pharma giant’s purchase of the US firm includes the acquisition of investigative cancer drugs.

By | January 10, 2017

Takeda Pharmaceuticals' Tokyo officeWIKIMEDIA, LOMBROSOTakeda Pharmaceuticals will buy Ariad, a Cambridge, Massachusetts–based cancer drug developer, for $5.2 billion in a deal that is expected to close next month, Reuters reported yesterday (January 9). Ariad is the manufacturer of Brigatinib (AP26113), an investigative drug that has shown promise in some patients with non-small cell lung cancer, and Iclusig (ponatinib), a compound used to treat chronic myeloid leukemia and a subset of acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

“This is a very exciting time for Takeda as we will broaden our hematology portfolio and transform our global solid tumor franchise through the addition of two innovative targeted therapies,” the pharmaceutical company’s CEO, Christophe Weber, in a statement.

According to Reuters, the acquisition comes at an crucial point in time for Takeda. Its most lucrative blood cancer drug, Velcade (bortezomib), will likely face generic competition in 2017, while other key Takeda products will go off patent by 2020, Reuters reported.

But one of Takeda’s newest additions to its blood cancer portfolio has a mixed track record. Although Iclusig is expected to generate at least $170 million in sales, Reuters reported, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2013 pressured Ariad to suspend Iclusig because of potential blood clot complications. Sales resumed after FDA cleared Iclusig for a more-narrow patient population.

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