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May 21, 2008

Daiichi Sankyo Intends to Purchase U3 Pharma for Roughly $236M

  • Daiichi Sankyo is taking over U3 Pharma for €150 million, or about $236.22 million. U3 Pharma is a preclinical-stage German company focusing on antibody-based cancer drugs.

    U3 Pharma's lead product, which is being codeveloped with Amgen, is U3-1287 (AMG 888). The compound is designed as a fully human anti-HER3 mAb to inhibit oncogenic signaling and tumor proliferation. The companies intend to initiate clinical development this year.

    This transaction will feed Daiichi Sankyo’s clinical pipeline of anticancer agents. The company has multiple candidates in Phase III programs. Daiichi also owns rights to commercialize Amgen’s late-stage compound denosumab in Japan.

    “Our acquisition of U3 Pharma is an ideal strategic fit for our oncology portfolio,” remarks Takashi Shoda, president and CEO of Daiichi Sankyo. “We currently have three human monoclonal antibodies in development. Additionally, in March 2008, we announced that we were expanding our joint research venture with another German company MorphoSys for its advanced human combinatorial antibody library and its phage-display technologies. One of our goals for Daiichi Sankyo is to increase our presence in novel therapeutics in the oncology arena.”



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MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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