Takeda snaps up URL Pharma in $800M+ deal

Takeda Pharmaceutical ($TKPHF.PK) has nabbed another drugmaker. This time, the Japanese company is buying Philadelphia-based URL Pharma for $800 million upfront, plus potential follow-up payments. The deal gives Takeda the gout drug Colcrys, which brought in $430 million for URL last year.

That hunk of revenue--expected to grow this year as Colcrys further establishes itself in the anti-inflammatory market--will help make up for sales lost to generic versions of stomach-acid fighter Prevacid, The Wall Street Journal reports. In fact, Takeda expects the URL deal to add $550 million to its top line this year.

"This acquisition expands Takeda's gout treatment portfolio and leverages our expertise in primary care," the company's U.S. president, Douglas Cole, said in a statement. "We are pleased to have URL Pharma's Colcrys added to our product portfolio." The company said it expects Colcrys sales growth to continue "through the product's lifecycle."

Like other Japanese drugmakers, Takeda has been shopping for assets outside its home market. Though Japan is looking more attractive to U.S. and European pharma companies, thanks to slowing price cuts and new measures to speed drugs to market, its domestic pharmas are looking elsewhere for growth. Takeda snapped up Millennium Pharmaceuticals for $8.8 billion in 2008, and then shelled out $13.7 billion last year for Switzerland's Nycomed.

- see the release from Takeda
- read the WSJ piece