Takeda Starts the Year Bidding for a Belgian Stem Cell Therapy Biotech

takeda tigenix acquisition stem cell therapy

Takeda has offered to acquire TiGenix subject to the upcoming European approval of its lead stem cell therapy for Crohn’s disease, Cx601. 

Short of two years after partnering with TiGenix for the development of a stem cell therapy, Takeda has offered to buy the remaining shares of the company in Euronext Brussels and the Nasdaq and turn it into a wholly-owned subsidiary. If it goes through, the deal will amount to about €520M.

But first, Takeda has to wait for approval by the Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority, and TiGenix has to meet the condition of obtaining EMA approval for its lead stem cell therapy, called Cx601. The EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) backed the approval of the therapy in December, and a final decision is expected in the first half of 2018.

Cx601 is a cell therapy consisting of stem cells derived from the fat tissue of a donor, known as expanded adipose-derived stem cells (eASCs). The immunomodulatory effects of these cells have proven to help treat complex perianal fistulas, a highly debilitating complication of Crohn’s disease that remains difficult to treat.

Tigenix cell therapy

On top of the results of a Phase III that support the application for European approval of Cx601, TiGenix is currently running a second Phase III trial in the US. It will support an application for US approval with the FDA, which has already granted orphan drug designation to the stem cell therapy.

With the acquisition of TiGenix, Takeda would also get hold of two other stem cell therapies in the company’s pipeline. One is Cx611, also based on eASC technology, to treat sepsis in patients with pneumonia. The other, called AlloCSC-01, uses cardiac stem cells to help regenerate heart tissue after myocardial infarction.

We believe that TiGenix’s expertise would help accelerate Takeda’s ambition to develop novel stem cell therapies,” said Eduardo Bravo, CEO of TiGenix. All in all, the intention of acquisition is surely great news for TiGenix, which had been struggling financially for a few years before its first deal with Takeda.

Images via Shutterstock; Tigenix


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