Takeda's quest to expand in the U.S. market--and off-set expiring patents on big drugs--continues. The Japanese company announced today a $1 billion alliance with RNAi company Alnylam. The deal covers RNAi therapeutics in the fields of oncology and metabolic disease with the option to expand to additional therapeutic areas in the future. Alnylam gets $100 million in up-front and additional $50 million in near-term technology transfer payments. Takeda can expand the partnership in the future to include additional fields, with a payment of $50 million to Alnylam for each additional field. Finally, Alnylam will receive $171 million in milestones, along with royalties, for each product developed as part of the deal.
"We believe this alliance will accelerate our initiatives to establish the foundation for RNAi drug discovery supported by Alnylam's platform technologies and know-how. We expect that our product portfolio will be enhanced by the addition of RNAi therapeutics to our current small molecule and anti-body research platforms," said Takeda's president Yasuchika Hasegawa. Just two months ago Takeda forked over $8.8 billion dollars to buy Millennium Pharmaceuticals, bolstering its oncology pipeline.