Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. has entered an agreement to acquire LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals, a privately held biopharma company specializing in vaccine products, for an upfront payment of $60 million plus milestone payments based on the progress of development projects. LigoCyte’s lead product, a vaccine to prevent norovirus gastroenteritis, is currently in Phase I/II 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 Dr. Rajeev Venkayya, executive vice president of Takeda’s Vaccine Business Division (VBD), which was launched in January 2012. “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.”
“LigoCyte is pleased to become a part of a leading research-based global pharmaceutical company with a commitment to vaccines and the Resources to develop our pipeline,” said Donald P. Beeman, chief executive officer, and member of the LigoCyte board of directors. “Together, we believe we have the right combination of expertise and dedication to bring our norovirus vaccine to market. We look forward to supporting Takeda's vaccine research and development efforts and contributing to the long-term success of Takeda’s Vaccine Business Division.”