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GEN News Highlights : Nov 6, 2012

Takeda Acquires Envoy Therapeutics

Takeda America Holdings will acquire Envoy Therapeutics (Envoy) to obtain access to their CNS drug pipeline. Envoy is a privately-held drug discovery company focused on finding new drugs with superior efficacy and fewer side effects than existing treatments. The company’s bacTRAP technology® combines genetic engineering with molecular biology techniques for labeling and extracting the protein-making components of specific types of cells. According to Envoy, the technology is especially powerful in the brain where many hundreds of cell types are intermingled but is applicable to therapeutic areas beyond the CNS.

The acquisition of Envoy provides Takeda with proprietary bacTRAP technology, know-how, materials, datasets, and analysis techniques enabling the identification of novel targets expressed in disease-relevant cell populations. In addition, Takeda gains access to Envoy’s preclinical CNS assets including programs for Parkinson’s disease and Cognitive Impairment Associated with Schizophrenia (CIAS).

“Since our initial investment in 2009, it has been clear to us that Envoy’s scientific excellence in combination with their vision for the utilization of bacTRAP technology have great potential to create and explore truly innovative targets across multiple therapeutic areas,” said Paul Chapman, Ph.D., general manager of the pharmaceutical research division at Takeda. “Together with Envoy, we will continue our efforts to contribute to the health of patients worldwide by delivering innovative drugs.”

“Takeda’s expertise in so many disease areas, coupled with its strong commitment to innovation in drug discovery, will enable the widespread application of Envoy’s bacTRAP technology,” said Brad Margus, chief executive officer and director of Envoy. “Our scientists are thrilled by the opportunity to deploy bacTRAP’s unique capabilities across numerous new therapeutic areas.”

Takeda plans to continue operating Envoy in Jupiter, Florida through March 2013, and thereafter intends to transfer the majority of the Envoy scientific staff and management team to Takeda California in San Diego as a part of Takeda Pharmaceuticals' research division.