Japanese-based Takeda Pharmaceutical Company has signed an agreement to acquire American oncology company ARIAD Pharmaceuticals for approximately $5.2bn.

With the acquisition of ARIAD, Takeda will gain access to the leukaemia drug Iclusig, as well as new lung cancer treatment drug Brigatinib.

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company president and CEO Christophe Weber said: “The acquisition of ARIAD is a unique opportunity that will enable us to positively impact the lives of more patients worldwide, advance our strategic priorities and generate attractive returns for our shareholders.

“This is a very exciting time for Takeda as we will broaden our haematology portfolio and transform our global solid tumour franchise through the addition of two innovative targeted therapies.”

Brigatinib can add a differentiated global therapy in a genetically defined subpopulation of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

"I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to the management team and everyone at ARIAD for their unrelenting dedication."

The addition of Iclusig, a commercialised therapy, will widen Takeda’s haematology franchise to include chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) and a subset of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).

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ARIAD Pharmaceuticals board chairman Alexander Denner said: “Both ARIAD and Takeda are passionate about helping cancer patients, and I believe the talent and resources of Takeda coupled with ARIAD’s pipeline and people will accelerate the development of cancer treatments.

“I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to the management team and everyone at ARIAD for their unrelenting dedication.”

By leveraging ARIAD’s R&D capabilities and platform, Takeda will absorb its R&D costs within the company’s existing budget.

Takeda will fund the transaction by up to $4bn of new debt and the remainder using existing cash.

Subject to required regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close by the end of next month.