Takeda Pharmaceutical is buying Philadelphia-based URL Pharma for $800 million up front in order to acquire the latter’s marketed gout therapy Colcrys (colchicine). The drug made net sales of over $430 million in calendar 2011, and will complement Takeda’s own gout therapy Uloric (febuxostat), which is used to lower blood uric acid levels in adults with the disorder.
Takeda could be eligible to make future performance-based payments, and says its U.S. operation will manage URL Pharma. Colcrys was launched in the U.S. in 2009 and is indicated for the prophylaxis of gout flares and treatment of acute gout flares.
“This acquisition expands Takeda’s gout treatment portfolio and leverages our expertise in primary care,” comments Douglas Cole, president of Takeda Pharmaceuticals in the U.S. “Gout affects more than 8 million Americans, and the prevalence of gout is rising.” Takeda reported Uloric sales of $106 million in fiscal 2010 (year to March 31, 2011), up 122% on the previous year, when the drug was first launched.