Japanese drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical disclosed on Wednesday that it is weighing a bid for Shire, the maker of dry eye drug Xiidra (lifitegrast), in a deal that would create a global drug giant worth nearly $90 billion.
In a statement, Takeda confirmed it is considering approaching Shire regarding a possible takeover offer.
“Takeda believes that a potential transaction with Shire presents an opportunity to advance Takeda’s stated Vision 2025, build on its current strong momentum, and create a truly global, value-based Japanese biopharmaceutical leader,” the statement read.
Takeda added that a deal for Shire would “accelerate Takeda’s vision to be a leader in specialized medicines that are transformative to patients through the addition of Shire’s leading global rare disease franchise” and would “balance its geographic focus to align with the market opportunity in the US.”
Takeda did not provide any financial details of what a potential bid would be. Analysts believe a deal could approach $50 billion, which would be Takeda’s biggest takeover ever.
After Takeda’s announcement, Shire said in a statement that it hasn’t received any formal approach or offer.
In addition to strengthening Takeda’s core therapeutic areas of oncology, GI and neuroscience, such an acquisition would give the company a presence in ophthalmology. Shire received FDA approval for Xiidra in 2016, and has additional ophthalmic product candidates in its pipeline in conjunctivitis, dry eye, and glaucoma. Such a deal would also give Takeda an entry to the hemophilia market in the US.
Under UK takeover rules, Takeda has until April 25 to decide whether it intends to make an offer for Shire.