6:02 PM
 | 
Jan 13, 2017
 |  BioCentury  |  Strategy

Solidifying Takeda’s position

How Ariad deal gets Takeda closer to its $10 billion cancer sales goal

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.’s proposed acquisition of Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc. should be the boost the pharma needs to hit $10 billion in cancer sales by 2025, as the biotech’s brigatinib is expected to lead Takeda’s commercial expansion into solid tumors in the U.S.

The Jan. 9 takeout headlined a trio of cancer deals unveiled by Takeda during last week’s JPMorgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco.

A partnership with LegoChem Biosciences Inc. announced later in the week fits into the pharma’s plan to develop antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), and a third deal with Maverick Therapeutics Inc. is part of Takeda’s plan to use deals to dip its toe into immuno-oncology without diverting resources from internal projects.

A reorganization last year focused Takeda on three primary therapeutic areas in which President and CEO Christophe Weber is targeting top 10 positions by revenue over the next 10 years: cancer, gastrointestinal and CNS.

Takeda is already in the top 10 in cancer. But to hang on to that position over the next decade, Christophe Bianchi, president of Takeda’s global oncology business unit, told BioCentury last week, “We believe we need to have sales in excess of $10 billion annually.”

In the first six months of Takeda’s FY16, which will end March 31, Takeda reported ¥164.2 billion ($1.6 billion) in cancer sales, with multiple myeloma (MM) therapy Velcade bortezomib contributing ¥69.3 billion ($686.1 million).

Bianchi said he expects peak sales of newly approved MM drug Ninlaro ixazomib to reach $3 billion. But he also said Takeda’s internal pipeline alone wouldn’t be enough to reach the revenue target, and two Phase III setbacks in the past two years contributed to the need for new assets.

“Doing a deal to add Iclusig ponatinib and brigatinib to the party would take us closer to that bar or over that bar.”

Christophe Bianchi, Takeda

In May 2015, alisertib missed the primary endpoint in a trial to treat relapsed or refractory peripheral T cell lymphoma (PTCL).

Then last June, Takeda returned Japanese rights to the most advanced cancer compound in its pipeline: trebananib from

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