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Takeda to acquire LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals


OSAKA, Japan — Drug maker Takeda announced that its wholly owned U.S. subsidiary has entered a definitive agreement to acquire LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals, a private clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel vaccines for gastrointestinal and respiratory indications.

As part of the deal, Takeda will provide LigoCyte with an upfront payment of $60 million, with future contingent consideration, based on the progress of development projects. LigoCyte's lead product, a vaccine to prevent norovirus gastroenteritis, is in phase-1/2 of clinical development.

"Takeda's acquisition of LigoCyte is a major step forward in the expansion of Takeda's vaccine business, and a demonstration of Takeda's dedication to preventing illness in children and adults around the world," said Rajeev Venkayya, EVP of Takeda's Vaccine Business Division, which was launched in January. "Norovirus is the most common cause of outbreaks of gastroenteritis and foodborne illness in the U.S., and is responsible for 200,000 deaths each year, most of them in developing countries. With the only norovirus vaccine in clinical trials today, Takeda will be in a position to change this picture."

To preserve continuity and build upon LigoCyte's success, Takeda said it will continue operating LigoCyte in Bozeman, Mont., for the foreseeable future and intends to retain the management team and its employees. The companies expect to complete the deal by the end of November.

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