Japan's R-Tech Ueno shareholders mull Sucampo tender as founders sell

Japan's R-Tech Ueno, which faced a clinical setback this year in ophthalmology even as it sought wider opportunities in the area, has seen U.S.-based Sucampo launch a tender for the firm valued at $278 million overall after the founders agreed to sell their holdings.

Ryujo Ueno

The offer for-Tech Ueno, which manufactures Amitiza for Sucampo, includes buying all of the shares of founders Sachiko Kuno and Ryuji Ueno, a combined 44%, at ¥1,400 per share, and then making an open offer for the Japan-listed firm's remaining shares at ¥1,900 each, according to a press release.

Bloomberg said the tender offer is a 49% premium to R-Tech Ueno's closing share price of ¥1,278 Wednesday.

R-Tech in Japan has other partnerships, including with Takeda Pharmaceutical and Mylan ($MYL), Bloomberg said, noting its own pipeline across gastroenterology, ophthalmology, and autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

Of particular interest is ophthalmology after R-Tech Ueno in May announced a research tie-up with Professor Susumu Ishida and Associate Professor Kousuke Noda of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine.

The move came shortly after it bought development and commercialization rights for DE-105 from Santen Pharmaceutical to treat persistent corneal epithelial defects in a deal that follows disappointing Phase III data on its UF-021 ophthalmic solution for treatment of retinitis pigmentosa.

- here's the Sucampo release
- and a story from Bloomberg