Takeda picks up a pair of cancer drugs in $310M Intellikine buyout

Takeda Pharmaceutical has a new U.S. biotech to add to its portfolio of drug developers. The pharma outfit announced this morning that it will buy out La Jolla, CA-based Intellikine and scoop up its portfolio of experimental cancer treatments for $190 million in cash and $120 million in promised milestones. Coincidentally, Takeda also laid out a plan to consolidate its two California subsidiaries--which includes a legacy group from an earlier acquisition--into a single operation based in San Diego.

The buyout deal with Intellikine covers two key additions to the oncology pipeline at Millennium, the Takeda cancer company which will pick up development responsibility from here. INK128, slated to begin Phase II next year, and INK1117, which recently entered its first human study, are PI3K/mTOR inhibitors which promise to help curb cancer cell growth.

"INK128 and INK1117 are potential best-in-class inhibitors of critical pathways driving cancer cell growth," said Deborah Dunsire, M.D., the CEO at Millennium. "As single agents or in different combinations with novel molecules within our robust pipeline, we anticipate that these assets will be able to deliver transforming therapies to cancer patients."

The buyout brings solid, though not spectacular, returns to the venture backers behind Intellikine. Sofinnova Ventures, CMEA Capital, Novartis Venture Funds, Abingworth, U.S. Venture Partners, Fintech Global Capital and Biogen Idec put $41 million into the company since 2007. Back in 2010, Infinity Pharmaceuticals snapped up the global rights to a portfolio of oral PI3K inhibitors developed by Intellikine. Intellikine nabbed a $13.5 million upfront, two years of research support, plus $475 million in development, approval and commercialization milestone payments.

Takeda Pharmaceutical also announced plans to integrate two subsidiaries, Takeda San Diego and Takeda San Francisco, on January 1. TSD will become the surviving company and change its name to Takeda California (TCAL). Keith Wilson, the current president of TSD, will become the president of the new company.

- see the release on the buyout
- here's the release on the California consolidation