Takeda and US vaccines maker Inviragen jointly announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement for Takeda to acquire Inviragen for an upfront payment of US$35 million and future payments of up to US$215 million upon achievement of key commercial milestones, linked to the progress of clinical development.
Inviragen is a privately-held biopharmaceutical company with headquarters in Fort Collins, CO, and facilities in Madison, WI as well as Singapore. The company’s expertise is in developing innovative vaccines for emerging infectious diseases, including dengue and hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD).
Inviragen’s lead candidate, DENVax, is a four-strain recombinant viral vaccine for the prevention of dengue infection. Phase II trials are currently being conducted to evaluate an administration schedule of two doses of DENVax over 90 days. Inviragen also has in its pipeline, a vaccine candidate to protect against hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) caused by enterovirus 71 (EV71), which has completed Phase I clinical testing, and a recombinant vaccine candidate against chikungunya, which is currently undergoing preclinical evaluation.
The acquisition will not only expand Takeda’s vaccine pipeline but also enhance its core vaccine R&D capabilities with Inviragen’s vaccine development center in Singapore, a region where vaccines have the greatest impact.
"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," said Rajeev Venkayya, M.D., executive vice president and head of Takeda’s vaccine business division in a press release. "Today’s announcement reinforces Takeda’s commitment to develop innovative vaccines to fight some of the world’s most important infectious diseases."
"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," said Tadataka Yamada, M.D., Takeda’s chief medical and scientific officer and member of the Takeda board of directors. "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."
Takeda will integrate the Inviragen team into the company’s vaccine business division. The deal is expected to close in the next few weeks, pending the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.