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Takeda expands cancer pipeline with Intellikine purchase

Gains two investigational compunds in $310m purchase

Takeda Pharmaceutical is to acquire the US biotech Intellikine, taking ownership of two investigational compounds with the potential to tackle cancer cell growth.

The Japanese pharmaceutical company will pay $190m in an upfront payment for the small molecule drugs specialist, with $120m available in milestone payments.

Products currently in development by Intellikine will be taken over by Millennium, Takeda's business unit responsible for global oncology strategy.

Intellikine's most advanced compounds are INK128 and INK1117, both currently undergoing investigation for use to reduce cancer cell growth.

The mTORC1/2 inhibitor INK128 is expected to enter phase II studies in 2012 after successful phase I trials.

INK1117 is an inhibitor of the PI3Ka isoform, and entered human clinical testing in September 2011.

Dr Deborah Dunsire, president and CEO, Millennium, said there was a lot of potential for the compounds in helping to treat cancer.

She said: “As single agents or in different combinations with novel molecules within our robust pipeline, we anticipate that these assets will be able to deliver transforming therapies to cancer patients.”

Dr Troy Wilson, president and CEO, Intellikine, explained how in just four years, three compounds that affect either the PI3K or mTOR pathways have entered human clinical testing.

“We are pleased that Takeda recognizes the potential of our clinical-stage programmes as well as our strong pipeline and discovery engine,” he said.

“Together, with Millennium and Takeda, we can bring the resources and expertise necessary to enable our drug candidates to reach their full potential in the treatment of patients with cancer.”

The transaction is expected to be completed in January, 2012.

Takeda's last major acquisition was Nycomed in October, 2011.

It purchased the Switzerland-based company for €9.6bn, intending to expand its presence in Europe and Russia.

23rd December 2011

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