Posted: Oct 4, 2012 9:10 PM by LigoCyte
Updated: Oct 4, 2012 9:13 PM
LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals, Inc. based out of Bozeman is in an agreement to be purchased by a Japanese company.
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited will pay $60 million dollars for LigoCyte.
LigoCyte is a privately-held biopharmaceutical company specializing in innovative vaccine products.
Its lead product, a vaccine to prevent norovirus gastroenteritis, is in phase I/II of clinical development.
"Takeda's acquisition of LigoCyte is a major step forward in the expansion of Takeda's vaccine business, and a demonstration of Takeda's dedication to preventing illness in children and adults around the world," said Rajeev Venkayya, M.D., executive vice president of Takeda's Vaccine Business Division (VBD), which was launched in January 2012. "Norovirus is the most common cause of outbreaks of gastroenteritis and foodborne illness in the U.S., and is responsible for 200,000 deaths each year, most of them in developing countries. With the only norovirus vaccine in clinical trials today, Takeda will be in a position to change this picture."
In recent years, norovirus has become recognized as the most common cause of outbreak and foodborne gastroenteritis in developed countries. Each year, outbreaks are reported on cruise ships, in health care and long-term care facilities and in child care settings, often requiring closure of facilities for cleaning, and resulting in significant disruption of operations and economic consequences. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, norovirus infects 21 million people in the United States each year.
In addition to the norovirus vaccine candidate, LigoCyte has also initiated preclinical development of vaccines against respiratory syncytial virus, influenza and rotavirus.
"LigoCyte is pleased to become a part of a leading research-based global pharmaceutical company with a commitment to vaccines and the resources to develop our pipeline," said Donald P. Beeman, chief executive officer, and member of the LigoCyte board of directors. "Together, we believe we have the right combination of expertise and dedication to bring our norovirus vaccine to market. We look forward to supporting Takeda's vaccine research and development efforts and contributing to the long-term success of Takeda's Vaccine Business Division."
To preserve continuity and build upon LigoCyte's success, Takeda will continue operating LigoCyte in Bozeman, Montana, for the foreseeable future and intends to retain the management team and its employees. Once the acquisition is complete, Mr. Beeman and his management team will become a part of Takeda's Vaccine Business Division. Pending the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, the deal is expected to close in the next several weeks.