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April 11, 2012

Takeda to acquire URL Pharma for $800m

Japan-based drug manufacturer Takeda Pharmaceutical is to acquire the US pharmaceutical firm URL Pharma for an upfront payment of $800m.

By Liam Stoker

Japan-based drug manufacturer Takeda Pharmaceutical is to acquire the US pharmaceutical firm URL Pharma for an upfront payment of $800m.

The gout treatment manufacturer has achieved relative success with its lead product Colcrys, used to treat flare-ups of gout, which recorded revenue in excess of $430m in 2011.

Takeda is Japan’s largest pharmaceutical company, but is threatened by the patent expiry of its diabetes treatment Actos which occurs later this year. Although the company still possesses other medications, Takeda is thought to be seeking additions to its portfolio in able to offset expected losses.

Takeda has noted that it expects the acquisition to "contribute significantly" to the company’s revenues, operating income and free cash flow as of 2013.

Takeda already has a foothold in the gout treatment market with its drug Uloric, used to lower blood uric levels in adults suffering from gout.

Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA president Douglas Cole said the company was pleased to add URL’s Colcrys to its product portfolio, with the company now in a position to offer multiple treatment options for the disease.

"This acquisition expands Takeda’s gout treatment portfolio and leverages our expertise in primary care," added Cole.

The acquisition is expected to close within 60 days subject to customary closing conditions, and URL’s current owners may also be eligible to receive future performance-based payments as of 2015.

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