Takeda is ready to auction off a PhIII favorite at Shire to clear the last hurdles to a $62B buyout

For sale: A promising inflammatory bowel disease drug now in Phase III studies for ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, once described by the executive team at Shire as one of the most precious “gems’ in its late-stage pipeline. Inquire at Takeda.

Looking for a late-stage asset that might just be ready in the not too distant future to be teed up for one of the hottest marketplaces in the world?

Takeda may soon be ready to help.

Now winding its way through in search of regulatory approvals for its big, $62 billion acquisition of Shire, the Europeans have noted some concern about the overlap between Takeda’s Entyvio and the experimental SHP647.

Takeda, which sees the buyout as its ticket into the global Big Pharma world, isn’t about to let something like this get in their way. 

The company says in a statement that it “has proposed a remedy of a potential divestment of SHP647 and certain associated rights.” And Takeda — which earned $1.8 billion on the Entyvio franchise last year — doesn’t anticipate that any talks about this little snag will slow it down in search of full and final approval to get the deal done.

Shire still has a rich late-stage pipeline, with a recent blockbuster approval for Takhzyro (lanadelumab). And Takeda is likely to make much more far-reaching changes in the combined organization as it streamlines the pipeline post-deal and slims down to accommodate analysts concerned about its debt level.

Shire picked up SHP647 from Pfizer, where it was called PF-00547659, at the worldwide swap-and-shop of drug assets that many of the big pharma players have set up. The drug is an anti-mucosal addressin cell adhesion molecule 1 (MAdCAM-1) antibody, designed to block “tissue homing of activated α4β7 + leukocytes.”

With the right deal in a world that professes to be ceaselessly hunting Phase III drugs, it could soon be yours.

Image: Christophe Weber, Takeda. Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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