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Takeda, a prominent Japanese drugmaker, provided the first major deal of the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. The company announced a takeover of Ariad Pharmaceuticals which valued the cancer specialist at $5.2 billion.

Takeda has been trying relentlessly to improve its oncology products and pipeline. From the deal, the key assets it gains are brigatinib, a treatment in Phase 2 testing for a subpopulation of patients with non-small cell cancer (NSCLC), and Iclusig (ponatinib), a treatment for two types of leukemia approved by FDA. In addition to these, Ariad also brings to the table AP32788, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor used for the treatment of NSCLC in Phase 1/2 enrollment. This deal represents the biggest step of the biopharma in that direction to date, and accomplishes another goal to strengthen its presence in U.S. markets.

Takeda CEO Christophe Weber said in a statement: “Opportunities to acquire such high-quality, complementary targeted therapies do not come often, and we are very excited about the potential for this transaction to benefit patients, our shareholders and other stakeholders”.

Ariad said in its most recent quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission: “Although we are unable to predict how long these matters will continue or their outcome, we expect that we will incur significant costs in connection with these matters and that responding to these matters will represent a significant distraction for our management team.”

By the end of February, the companies intend to close the deal.

 

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