Takeda eyes up Shire

Apr 05, 2018

Takeda shows some bottle

WHEN it comes to foreign deals, Japanese drug companies are interested in buying the product, not the company, says Fumiyoshi Sakai of Credit Suisse, a bank. So the news that Takeda, Japan’s biggest pharmaceutical company, wants to buy Shire, a similar-sized Irish drugmaker that specialises in treatments for rare diseases, came as something of a surprise. At $85bn, the combined value of the two firms would be in the ranks of industry behemoths such as Bayer and GlaxoSmithKline.

In recent years Takeda and its domestic rivals, Astellas and Shionogi, have bought a handful of small foreign firms. Most were American biotechnology companies with one or two specialist products. But the need to expand abroad is becoming a matter of greater urgency for Japanese drugmakers.

Their main domestic client, the government-run health system, accounts for 40% of drug spending. As Japan’s ageing population puts ever more pressure on its budget, the...Continue reading

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