Japanese company, Sosei, is to buy UK private UK firm, Arakis, for £106.5 million pounds, in a deal that further highlights the continuing consolidation in the biotechnology sector.

Under the terms of the deal, Sosei will pay £11.7 million in cash and will issue 35,630 new shares. The Japanese company said that the takeover represented a “major step” in its bid to become a global top ten biopharmaceutical company

The firms say that the enlarged company will have a broad mid- to late-stage clinical and pre-clinical pipeline, products with near term revenue generation potential, complementary product discovery capabilities and strengths in Europe and Asia. In particular, Arakis brings to Sosei highly £213 million global partnership with Novartis for its lead product AD 237, a once daily, inhaled, drug for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [[14/04/05b]], and three further products in clinical development (AD 923 for cancer breakthrough pain due to commence Phase III trials later this year, AD 452 for rheumatoid arthritis due to commence Phase IIb trials in the third quarter [[12/04/05g]], and AD 337 for fibromyalgia, which is currently in Phase I testing).

Dr Ken Cunningham, chief executive of Arakis, said: “It was always part of Arakis’ strategic ambition to develop its business on an international scale and the combining of our business with Sosei’s complementary activities in Japan will enable us to achieve this vision.”