The business press is buzzing this morning with word that Japan's acquisitive Takeda is in talks to buy Nycomed for up to $14 billion. Bloomberg broke the M&A story late last night, noting that Nycomed is controlled by three key investors: Nordic Capital, DLJ Merchant Banking and Coller International Partners.
There's no guarantee that the deal will go through as planned. If it does, though, Takeda will gain R&D operations in Europe as well as India along with treatments for inflammatory, gastric and respiratory ailments. One of its recent success stories has been roflumilast, a COPD drug which has been approved in Europe and Canada and recently achieved regulatory success in the U.S. under the commercial name Daliresp.
Nycomed has an ambitious R&D strategy as well. Its website lists eight development programs, which includes an osteoporosis and gastroenterology drug at the registration stage and a respiratory drug partnered with Sepracor in Phase III. Two more programs are in the mid-stage arena with three in early-stage research. One of those programs, MT203, is partnered with Micromet.
"Takeda has to survive as a global player. It's not in a position to go backwards," Credit Suisse analyst Fumiyoshi Sakai told Reuters, which quoted sources saying the buyout price was in the $12 billion range. Sakai quickly compared the takeover to Takeda's buyout of Millennium, the Boston-based cancer drug developer which Takeda paid more than $8 billion for and which now operates as a wholly owned unit of the Japanese pharma company.
A buyout now would give Takeda access to some badly needed revenue to offset the impact of generic competition as well as a better position in drug development work in emerging countries. Last fall Nycomed also bought a controlling interest in a Chinese biotech company, Techpool Bio- Pharma Co.