The European Commission has given its blessing for the proposed £46-billion acquisition of Shire by Takeda, paving the way for the deal’s completion.

The approval is conditional on the companies fulfilling commitments given to the EC, in relation to the future potential overlap in the area of inflammatory bowel diseases between Takeda’s marketed product Entyvio (vedolizumab) and Shire’s pipeline compound SHP647.

Takeda and Shire have committed to divest the pipeline compound SHP647 and certain associated rights, though this is in itself not a prerequisite for deal completion.

“We are very pleased to have secured clearance from the European Commission, the final regulatory approval required to proceed with our acquisition of Shire,” said Christophe Weber, president and chief executive of Takeda.

“We are another step closer to creating a global, values-based, R&D-driven biopharmaceutical leader, and after several months of constructive dialogue, we are optimistic that our shareholders recognise the significant long-term value creation potential of this powerful combination.”

The companies’ boards agreed terms of the deal back in May, after weeks of wrangling during which Takeda put forward four unsuccessful bids for the firm.

“We firmly believe that this combination recognises the strong growth potential of our leading products and innovative pipeline and is in the best interests of our shareholders, our patients and the communities we serve,” said Shire’s chairman Susan Kilsby at the time.

The Financial Times said earlier this year that if successfully completed, the deal will “rank as one of the industry’s biggest, and mark a significant moment in the evolution of Japan Inc as a global dealmaker.”

The acquisition has now received clearances from the European Commission, the United States Federal Trade Commission, the Japan Fair Trade Commission, the State Administration for Market Regulation in China and the Brazilian Administrative Council for Economic Defense, among other regulatory authorities.