Takeda acquires Inviragen in $250 million deal

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, a Japan-based research pharmaceutical company, announced on Wednesday that it will acquire Inviragen, Inc., a Colorado-based biopharmaceutical company, as part of a $250 million deal.

Takeda America Holdings, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Takeda, will pay $35 million upfront to acquire Inviragen with future payments of up to $215 million related to the progress of clinical development and the achievement of key commercial milestones. Inviragen specializes in the research and development of vaccines for emerging infectious diseases, such as hand, foot and mouth disease and dengue.

"Takeda has taken another major step toward its goal of establishing a world-class global vaccine business by acquiring Inviragen and its advanced vaccine candidate against dengue, a serious mosquito-borne illness that threatens nearly half of the world's population," Rajeev Venkayya, the head of Takeda's Vaccine Business Division, said. "Today's announcement reinforces Takeda's commitment to develop innovative vaccines to fight some of the world's most important infectious diseases."

Inviragen's lead candidate, DENVax, is a four-strain recombinant viral vaccine meant to prevent dengue infection. DENVax is currently being evaluated in Phase II clinical trials.

"The acquisition of Inviragen supports Takeda's overall research and development programs, long-term growth strategy and commitment to improve health through innovation and new technology," Tadataka Yamada, Takeda's chief medical and scientific officer, said. "Coming less than a year after the acquisition of LigoCyte with the world's leading norovirus vaccine candidate, this illustrates Takeda's commitment to its global vaccine business and global public health."

It is estimated that approximately 400 million people worldwide are infected by the dengue virus annually. There are currently only symptomatic treatments available for dengue and dengue hemorrhagic fever.

"This acquisition combines Inviragen's expertise in viral vaccine research and development and our extensive worldwide network of preclinical and clinical collaborators with Takeda's resources, product development expertise, and global reach," Dan Stinchcomb, Inviragen's chief executive officer, said. "Together we are well-positioned to bring these promising vaccine candidates to the market. Inviragen is pleased to become a part of a leading pharmaceutical company that is so strongly committed to developing vaccines that can improve public health worldwide."