Takeda America Holdings, a subsidiary of Japanese, research-based company Takeda Pharmaceutical, has agreed to acquire Envoy Therapeutics, a privately-held drug discovery company based in Jupiter, Fla. Takeda's corporate venture arm, Takeda Ventures, participated in Envoy's series A financing in October 2009.
Takeda America Holdings will acquire 100% of the equity in Envoy for total consideration of up to $140 million, which includes an up-front payment and progress-dependent, preclinical milestone payments.
Envoy is focused on finding new drugs with superior efficacy and fewer side effects than existing treatments. The company's proprietary bacTRAP technology combines innovative genetic engineering with molecular biology techniques for labeling and extracting the protein-making components of specific types of cells. The technology is especially powerful in the brain where many hundreds of cell types are intermingled but is applicable to therapeutic areas beyond the central nervous system (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 Dr. Paul Chapman, general manager of pharmaceutical research division, Takeda.
Brad Margus, CEO and director of Envoy, said, "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. 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, Fla., 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.