Takeda offloads heart and metabolism drugs to 3-month-old Chinese firm for $322M

Takeda has already exceeded the product sell-off goal it set alongside its Shire merger, but the Japanese pharma shows no sign of slowing down.

After making several geography-specific divestitures in different regions of the world, Takeda has turned to China. The company said Monday it agreed to offload some cardiovascular and metabolic drugs in the Chinese mainland to local firm Hasten Biopharmaceutic for $322 million.

The deal covers five drugs, including hypertension med Ebrantil (urapidil); the whole portfolio generated $109.5 million in sales for the fiscal year ended in March.

“China is an important market for Takeda in our efforts to accelerate the availability of our highly innovative medicines to patients living with complex and rare diseases. This sale will further sharpen Takeda’s focus and resources in fast-tracking innovation in China, and the emerging markets,” Ricardo Marek, president of Takeda's growth and emerging markets business unit, said in a statement.

“We remain committed to expansion in China with more than 15 planned approvals over the next five years,” Takeda Chief Financial Officer Costa Saroukos said.

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The sale will help Takeda reduce the debt load it took on to finance the $59 billion acquisition of Shire. To hit its target of net debt/adjusted EBITDA ratio to 2x by fiscal year 2023, Takeda laid out a plan to sell $10 billion worth of products that fall outside of its five focus areas, namely gastroenterology, rare disease, oncology, neuroscience and plasma-derived therapies.

It had already exceeded that mark before this latest deal—and in fact, the new sale brings its total divestment value to about $11.3 billion.

This year alone, Takeda has targeted nine other Asia-Pacific markets in a $278 million transaction with South Korea’s Celltrion. It cut loose its Japan consumer health business to a company controlled by Blackstone for JPY 242.0 billion ($2.34 billion).

Some other noncore products sold mainly in Europe and Canada were wrapped in a $562 million deal with Germany’s Cheplapharm in September. Some European over-the-counter and prescription drugs, along with two manufacturing sites, are making their way to Danish company Orifarm in a transaction worth up to about $670 million.

RELATED: Takeda, debt in mind, offloads 18 drugs in Asia Pacific to Celltrion for $278M

As part of the China pact—which is expected to close by June 30—commercial staffers will be transferred to Hasten. Takeda will continue to make the drugs for the Chinese firm.

Hasten is a brand-new name on China’s biopharma scene; the company was just founded in mid-September, according to business registry information. The company is funded by Ray Capital Management, a biopharma-focused investment shop run by the government of the Chinese city of Hefei.

“We are confident that under Ray Capital, Hasten will be well-positioned to provide continued patient access to these trusted products in China,” Marek said.