Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical to acquire URL Pharma for $800 million

Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical today said that it will acquire US specialty drug company URL Pharma Inc for an upfront payment of $800 million and future performance-based earn out payments.
With 2011 revenues of nearly $600 million, Philadelphia-based privately-owned URL is a leading specialty pharmaceutical company with fully integrated technology development, product development, manufacturing, and commercialisation capabilities.

URL is majority owned by New York-based venture capital firms Elliott Associates and Momar Corporation and Dr Richard Roberts, the only remaining member of the founding Roberts family, owns a minority interest.

After a long history of generic drugs research, development, and manufacturing, the company has transitioned to a technology-driven, specialty pharmaceutical business.

Its leading product is Colcrys, used to treat and prevent gout flares, had net sales of more than $430 million last year, and the company expects continued sales growth through the drug's lifecycle.

Colcrys would complement Takeda's position in the gout market with Uloric, used to lower blood uric acid levels in adults with gout.

The acquisition of URL strengthens the Tokyo-based company's offerings in the US by providing more gout management options to treat and prevent gout flares and the high uric acid levels.