JAPAN — Takeda has expanded its psoriasis treatment portfolio after completing its acquisition of the Nimbus Lakshmi program from Nimbus Therapeutics in a deal worth up to US$6 billion.

Under the agreement, which was announced in December last year, Takeda will acquire TAK-279, formerly known at Nimbus as NDI-034858. Phase III clinical trial of TAK-279 in psoriasis is expected to commence this year.

The latest move comes following clearance from the United States Federal Trade Commission and after satisfaction of other conditions related to the deal closure.

TAK-279 is said to have the potential to demonstrate safety, efficacy, and convenience in psoriasis and other immune-mediated diseases.

These diseases include psoriatic arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and systemic lupus erythematosus.

Takeda noted that the acquisition would boost its growing late-stage pipeline while expanding its portfolio.

The drug candidate is also being evaluated in multiple other immune-mediated diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, psoriatic arthritis, and systemic lupus erythematosus.

Takeda global portfolio division president Ramona Sequeira said: “With our plan to acquire announced in December, we are excited to have promptly added TAK-279, a highly selective oral TYK2 inhibitor with truly transformative potential for patients in multiple diseases, to our late-stage pipeline.

This program closely aligns with our strategy and expertise in immune-mediated diseases, and we look forward to sharing more details of our development plans soon.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Takeda will pay Nimbus approximately US$4 billion upfront.

Additionally, Nimbus is eligible for two milestone payments of US$1bn each from Takeda after achieving US$4bn in annual net sales and US$5bn of products developed from the TAK-279 program.

In another development, the Japanese government has canceled its order for the remaining 141.76 million Nuvaxovid COVID-19 vaccine doses due to low demand, Takeda has revealed.

Japan’s cancellation of the Novavax vaccine order will not significantly impact Takeda’s finances and the company is not altering its full-year consolidated forecasts.

In other news, the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has granted marketing authorization for Takeda’s dengue virus vaccine candidate, Qdenga (Dengue Tetravalent Vaccine [Live, Attenuated]).

The vaccine candidate has been approved for active immunization against the infection in people from four years of age.

Qdenga has been developed based on a live-attenuated dengue serotype 2 virus that offers the genetic backbone for four dengue virus serotypes. It is designed to protect against any of the four serotypes.

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