Takeda returns Amgen candidates fulranumab and trebananib

Osaka-based Takeda Pharmaceutical has returned Japan rights for Amgen ($AMGN) oncology candidates fulranumab (AMG-403) and trebananib (AMG-386) as it continues the fast-paced reshuffle of its development portfolio to focus on potential first-in-class therapies in gastroenterology, oncology and CNS.

The move was not a surprise as Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) had previously ended Phase III work on arthritis candidate fulranumab and Amgen halted its Phase III efforts for ovarian oncology therapy trebananib after a failed trial in 2014.

But Takeda said other work with Amgen would continue.

"Takeda and Amgen will continue to collaborate on the development and commercialization of remaining molecules/products for the Japanese market, including [bowel cancer drug] Vectibix (panitumumab)," the company said in a release.

Earlier this month, Takeda signed a global development deal with Theravance ($THRX) on GI motility disorder candidate TD-8954. The deal is part of a busy review of its portfolio cards that has gathered pace more than a year into CEO Christophe Weber's efforts to reshape the direction of the top Japanese drugmaker. To date, he's secured deals in San Diego and Boston, among other notable efforts.

That was followed by an investment of $65 million to co-develop as many as 6 product candidates to treat rare diseases, working with biotech Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical ($RARE) in a further early-stage effort.

- here's the release

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