Japanese pharmaceutical company Takeda has announced a bid to buy cell therapy company TiGenix in a deal worth €520 million. The acquisition builds upon an existing partnership between the two companies to develop Cx601 (darvadstrocel), an investigational therapy designed to treat patients with certain types of Crohn’s disease.
“As a leader in gastroenterology, Takeda recognizes the complex physical, emotional and social barriers that people living with fistulizing Crohn’s disease experience,” said Andrew Plump, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer, Takeda. “Limited treatment options exist today and I believe we can be most effective in serving this population by working in collaboration with partners whose unique skill sets allow us to more efficiently explore innovative approaches, including stem cell therapies.”
The bid to acquire TiGenix values the company’s shares at €1.78 apiece. Takeda’s all cash offer has the potential to bolster the company’s gastroenterology business in the inflammatory bowel disease space.
Cx601 is a stem cell therapy designed to be locally administered to the site of complex perianal fistulas in patients with Crohn’s disease. These fistulas are challenging to treat using modern surgical techniques and can cause pain, infection and incontinence.
In December of 2016, the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) expressed a positive opinion of Cx601, suggesting the companies could see approval of the cell therapy before the middle of 2018. A Phase III trial of the biologic is currently underway in the US, with an FDA regulatory filing pending the results of the study.
While Cx601 is the most developed product in TiGenix’s pipeline, Takeda can also expect to inherit other candidates as part of the acquisition. A Phase I/II trial in severe sepsis is currently ongoing for the company’s other cell therapy, Cx611. The Belgium-based biopharmaceutical company is also developing AlloCSC-01, a drug that has shown promise in an early-stage trial of acute myocardial infarction.