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Mar 07, 2011
 |  BioCentury  |  Strategy

Daiichi's U.S. comPlexx

Buying Plexxikon jump starts Daiichi Sankyo's U.S. commercial presence in cancer

Although Roche has worldwide rights to Plexxikon Inc.'s PLX4032, the opportunity to jump start a U.S. commercial presence in cancer on the back of co-promotion rights is leading Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd. to acquire the biotech for $805 million up front.

Interim Phase III data for PLX4032 were reported in January, and Roche plans to submit marketing applications in the U.S. and Europe this year.

The deal also provides the Japanese pharma with two more clinical candidates and Plexxikon's scafforld-based discovery engine.

Glenn Gormley, Daiichi Sankyo's CSO and co-head of R&D, told BioCentury the company decided about a year ago to narrow its focus to two major therapeutic areas: cardiometabolic disorders and cancer.

Daiichi Sankyo has an established presence in the cardiometabolic space, where the company markets a variety of drugs for hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis.

Meanwhile, the pharma's clinical pipeline of cancer compounds has largely been shaped by a pair of 2008 deals.

The first was its €150 million ($233.9 million) acquisition of U3 Pharma AG, a German biotech with a pipeline of antibodies for cancer. The lead candidate is U3-1287 (AMG 888), a mAb against epidermal growth...

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