US drugmaker Wyeth says it has purchased the remaining 20% it does not already own in its Japanese subsidiary from Takeda Pharmaceuticals Co for an undisclosed sum.

Wyeth KK started as a joint venture, called Lederle Japan, between American Cyanamid and Takeda in 1953 and in 1994, Wyeth, then known as American Home Products, acquired American Cyanamid. A transfer agreement for the unit was signed by Takeda and the US firm in May 2003.

Wyeth chief executive Robert Essner said "the full ownership of WKK is part of the overall transformation of our operations in Japan,” adding that the relationship between his firm and Takeda “remains strong.” The two firms currently co-promote the rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel (etanercept), and their collaboration “is central to making Japan one of the strongest markets for this important biotech product.” It was noted that Mylotarg (gemtuzumab ozogamicin), a humanised anti-CD33 monoclonal antibody indicated for the treatment of acute myeloid leukaemia, is helping to drive WKK's growth, as well as Enbrel.

Takeda signs three major deals

The deal with Wyeth ended a busy week for Takeda which has signed a number of development link-ups. First up is a deal with South Korea's LG Life Science to collaborate on the research and development of drugs to fight obesity, which could see Takeda pay milestones and royalties worth more than $100 million to its partner.

Secondly, Takeda has acquired the rights for a drug being developed as a treatment for human papillomavirus infection from 3M. The Japanese firm said it paid nothing upfront for development and commercial rights to R-851, which is in Phase II trials in the USA but 3M will receive milestone payments and royalties once the drug, which is being developed to treat cervical dysplasia and high-risk human papillomavirus, the sexually-transmitted virus that causes most cases of cervical cancer, reaches the market.

Finally a deal has been struck with fellow Japanese firm CanBas to develop CBP501, a potential cancer treatment. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.