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8 Oct 2012

Takeda to acquire vaccine specialist LigoCyte

Takeda is to acquire LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals and its norovirus vaccine candidate.

Japanese pharmaceutical company Takeda is to acquire LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals, a US-based biopharmaceutical outfit specialising in innovative vaccine products.

Dr Rajeev Venkayya, executive vice-president of Takeda's vaccine business division, described the acquisition as a "major step forward" for the business.

LigoCyte's lead product is a vaccine that is currently in phase-I/II clinical development and is designed to prevent norovirus gastroenteritis.

Dr Venkayya noted that norovirus claims the lives of 200,000 people - mostly in developing countries - every year.

"With the only norovirus vaccine in clinical trials today, Takeda will be in a position to change this picture," he added.

Under the terms of the agreement, Takeda will make an upfront payment of $60 million, along with possible future payments based on the progress of development projects.

Donald Beeman, chief executive officer of LigoCyte, expressed his delight at the deal and claimed that the company would contribute to the long-term success of Takeda's vaccine business division.

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