Takeda grabs Ariad, expands oncology portfolio in $5.2B buyout

Christophe Weber, Takeda

Takeda has taken the next step in its global restructuring, bagging Ariad Pharmaceuticals for $5.2 billion and paying a whopping 74% premium for its stock.

The deal gives Japan’s Takeda a bigger cancer drug portfolio, with an already approved Iclusig on the market and a looming decision on brigatinib, which Takeda believes has blockbuster potential.

Ariad has been making progress since longtime CEO Harvey Berger was forced out in the spring of 2015, a move triggered by a brewing shareholder revolt that broke out after Iclusig was briefly jerked out of the market and then allowed back on with a more limited reach. The company finished its rolling submission for brigatinib last summer, looking to get an OK to sell the ALK inhibitor to patients who no longer respond to Pfizer’s Xalkori.

In early December Ariad, now run by CEO Paris Panayiotopoulos, reported a median follow-up of 11-months, demonstrated a progression-free survival rate of 15.6 months with a 55% confirmed objective response rate for non-small cell lung cancer patients taking the 180 mg dose brigatinib.

For Takeda, the buyout marks another step forward as it slashes its R&D organization and regroups in the US and Japan, greatly reducing its presence in the UK. The deal also marks the high valuations tied to marketed and late-stage drugs. Their forecast of $1 billion-plus sales for brigatinib, though, are significantly more aggressive than most analysts, who have been predicting $500 million to $800 million in sales.

Christophe Weber, president and chief executive officer of Takeda, had this to say:

“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. Opportunities to acquire such high-quality, complementary targeted therapies do not come often, and we are very excited about the potential for this transaction to benefit patients, our shareholders and other stakeholders.”

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Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
Director of Operations
Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

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