Takeda acquires URL Pharma


DEERFIELD, Ill. — Takeda Pharmaceutical will acquire privately owned drug maker URL Pharma for $800 million, the companies said Wednesday.

Takeda announced that it would acquire Philadelphia-based URL through a U.S. subsidiary for the upfront payment plus future milestone payments. Takeda said it expected the acquisition to contribute "significantly" to its sales and profits starting in fiscal year 2013.

The purchase also includes URL's Colcrys (colchicine), a drug used to treat and prevent gout flares that had sales of more than $430 million in 2011. Takeda already markets another gout drug, Uloric (febuxostat), which is used to lower blood uric levels in adults with the disease.

"This acquisition expands Takeda's gout treatment portfolio and leverages our expertise in primary care," Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A. president Douglas Cole said. "Gout affects more than 8 million Americans, and the prevalence of gout is rising."

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