Takeda May Sell Some Non-Core Assets to Raise Cash

Takeda May Sell Some Non-Core Assets to Raise Cash July 25, 2016
By Alex Keown, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff

OSAKA, Japan – Takeda Pharmaceuticals may sell some non-core assets in order to raise cash, Bloomberg reported Friday. Citing unnamed people “familiar with the matter,” Bloomberg said Takeda could sell its majority stake in chemicals business Wako Pure Chemical Industries Ltd.

Takeda is looking to raise about $1 billion from the sale, Bloomberg said. Takeda owns about 72 percent of Wako, according to reports. The Japanese company is moving to unload some non-core assets in an effort to streamline operations. The possible sale of its stake in the chemical company follows on such streamlining maneuvers as the sale of its respiratory business to London-based AstraZeneca for $575 million at the end of 2015. Last year, Takeda also moved to consolidate U.S. vaccine operations under one roof in Cambridge, Mass. by shuttering sites in Bozeman, Mont., Deerfield, Ill. and Madison, Wisc.

Takeda’s move to a more efficient operations will allow the company to focus on its four core therapeutic areas: gastroenterology, oncology, central nervous system and cardiovascular and metabolic.

The Wake chemical company develops laboratory chemicals specialty chemicals and agents used in diagnostic tests, Bloomberg noted. One possible buyer for Wako could be Fujifilms, Bloomberg said.

Takeda officials have remained tightlipped about the possibility.

Although the company is making a move to streamline operations, Takeda recently created two new business units to support its pipeline. A dedicated Specialty Business Unit will enable Takeda to develop best-in-class capabilities in areas such as patient support and evidence generation. Takeda’s new General Medicine Business Unit will support marketing operations for the company pipeline.

In June, Takeda returned some molecules and products to Amgen that could have been used to develop cancer treatments in Japan. The two companies struck a deal to develop and commercialize multiple molecules and products that belong to Amgen ’s pipeline for commercialization in Japan. Takeda never specified why it returned the molecules, only saying it looked forward to future collaboration on other molecules that remained within its keeping. The Amgen/ Takeda deal included the colorectal cancer drug Vectibix, which Takeda was able to bring to the Japanese market in 2010.

Earlier this year, the company returned the U.S. rights to the anti-obesity drug Contrave to its partner Orexigen . Takeda said the move will allow the company to focus on its inflammatory bowel disease drugs, gout, diabetes and its products for major depressive disorder.

Also earlier this year, there were rumors that Takeda may have had a big M&A move on its mind—the acquisition of Canada-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals . Valeant rejected the bid in order to give Joe Papa, its new chief executive, time to focus on running the company following the ouster of former CEO J. Michael Pearson.

Takeda stock, which trades on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, is up more than 2 percent today, trading at 4,566 yen.

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