Wyeth has increased its stake in a joint venture the company has with Japan’s Takeda, giving the US firm a 70% interest in Wyeth KK and full management control. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed and it was noted that Takeda’s remaining 30% equity will be acquired in increments over the next few years.

The JV was set up in 1953 on a 50-50 basis, and Wyeth increased its stake in the entity to 60% in 1998.

Wyeth chief executive Robert Essner said that the companies’ partnership “has been a very productive and cooperative business endeavour,” but added that “the time is right for Wyeth to take control of WKK’s operations” to establish a platform for growth in Japan, the second largest pharmaceutical market.

He noted that WKK will work in tandem with Takeda to co-promote Wyeth’s rheumatoid arthritis treatment Enbrel (etanercept) and the Japanese firm will also continue to be the exclusive distributor of WKK products.