Takeda proposes selling Shire’s IBD treatment after merger


Takeda has proposed selling off a Shire treatment for inflammatory bowel disease when the companies merge next year, to avoid an overlap with its own drug.

The move, which Takeda has put to European regulators, entails divesting Shire’s pipeline compound SHP647, which is currently in phase 3 clinical trials, along with some associated rights.

The Japanese firm said in a statement that it is in discussions with the European Commission in relation to the future potential overlap in the area of inflammatory bowel disease between Takeda’s marketed product Entyvio (vedolizumab) and Shire’s pipeline compound SHP647.

Entyvio is a monoclonal antibody developed by Millennium Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Takeda, for ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

The statement read: “The company remains committed to Entyvio, which has been granted marketing authorization in more than 60 countries and is the cornerstone of Takeda’s diverse specialty gastrointestinal portfolio.”

It went on to confirm that there are no discussions with the EC regarding any other marketed products or assets in the pipeline and added that the plans would not delay the takeover of Shire.

Crohn’s Disease affects around 146,000 people in the UK, causing inflammation of the digestive system. The most common area affected is the end of the ileum or the colon. The areas of inflammation are often patchy with sections of normal gut in between.

Crohn’s is a chronic condition that is ongoing, although patients may have periods of good health (remission), as well as times when symptoms are more active (relapses or flare-ups).

Last month, pharmaphorum reported that Takeda was considering selling off Shire’s eye care business to cut debts once the merger deal has been signed. Shire’s Xiidra (lifitegrast ophthalmic solution) drug, which treats the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease (DED), is among the potential divestments being assessed by Takeda.

The $62 billion (£47.3 billion) deal, when finalised, will make Takeda one of the world’s top ten global drug manufacturers.

The takeover deal is set to close in the first half of 2019 if approved by shareholders, if it obtains regulatory approvals in more than 20 markets and if approved at an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders.

Competition regulators in the US, Brazil, China and Japan have already backed the deal.