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Takeda acquires US-based drug discovery company Envoy

Japanese pharma firm gains target identification technology and preclinical CNS assets

Takeda pharma buidlingTakeda Pharmaceutical Company has expanded further into the US with its latest acquisition, picking up Envoy Therapeutics in a deal that could be worth $140m for the Florida-based drug discovery company.

The Japanese pharma company will take ownership of Envoy Therapeutics' proprietary bacTRAP technology, which enables identification of targets expressed in disease-relevant cell populations.

The technology combines genetic engineering with molecular biology techniques for labelling and extracting the protein-making components of specific types of cells and has particular application in the brain and the central nervous system. 

Takeda will also gain access to the privately owned drug company's preclinical CNS assets, including programmes for Parkinson's disease and cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia (CIAS).

“Envoy's scientific excellence, in combination with their vision for the utilisation of bacTRAP technology, has great potential to create and explore truly innovative targets across multiple therapeutic areas,” said Dr Paul Chapman, general manager of Pharmaceutical Research Division at Takeda. 

“Together with Envoy, we will continue our efforts to contribute to the health of patients worldwide by delivering innovative drugs.” 

Under their agreement, Takeda America Holding will acquire 100 per cent of Envoy at a cost of up to $140m depending on progress-dependent and preclinical milestone payments. 

“Takeda's expertise in so many disease areas, coupled with its strong commitment to innovation in drug discovery, will enable the widespread application of Envoy's bacTRAP technology, said Mr Brad Margus, chief executive officer and director of Envoy. 

“Our scientists are thrilled by the opportunity to deploy bacTRAP's unique capabilities across numerous new therapeutic areas.”

Envoy will continue to operate in Florida until March 2013, when the majority of the Envoy scientific staff and management team will be relocated to Takeda Pharmaceuticals Research Division in San Diago.

The deal is the latest in a year that has seen Takeda expanding across Europe and the Americas. In April the company bought US-based URL Pharma, followed by Brazil's Multilab in May and US vaccines business LigoCyte in October.

7th November 2012

From: Research

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