Takeda Pharmaceutical and Abbott Laboratories have decided to split up their 30 plus year joint venture (JV), TAP Pharmaceutical Products. Both firms stand to profit from this decision, with Abbott possibly coming out as the near-term winner.
Abott gains one of the two products marketed by the JV, which has the longer patent life, and could earn up to $1.5 billion. Takeda, on the other hand, has decided to retain the peptic ulcer treatment, Prevacid, which could face generic competition in the near term, but will add TAP’s large investigational pipeline.
With marketing rights to Lupron, a prostate cancer drug, Abbott also obtains the related sales force, other employees, and assets. Lupron will be complementary to Abbott's efforts to progress it's early-stage cancer program, points out Scott Stoffel, director, external communications, corporate public affairs.
Lupron’s patent expiration date is set for 2015. Prevacid, however, has patent exclusivity until September 2009, and is already in litigation with Teva Pharmaceuticals.
Still, Abbott hasn’t completely divorced itself from Prevacid and TAP’s development compounds, Stoffel notes. The deal calls for $1.5 billion in milestone fees, adding further to the profitability of this transaction for Abbott.
Takeda will certainly gain a lion share of the staff as well as all the development candidates. These include two that have pending NDAs at the FDA.
The company is not too concerned with the Teva law suit. It is confident of its IP position and life-cycle management of the product, points out Matt Kuhn, director, public relations at Takeda.
While there may be short-term issues, Kuhn is optimistic about Takeda’s long-term growth potential. “We have a large development organization to focus on late-stage products,” Kuhn asserts. He adds that the acquired pipeline will further strengthen Takeda’s position as a lucrative development partner.
Following the completion of the transaction, Takeda plans to integrate TAP into two of its wholly owned U.S. subsidiaries, Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America and Takeda Global Research and Development Center.