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Celltrion’s Subsidiary Acquires Primary Care Product Assets for Asia Pacific Markets from Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited


Celltrion (KRX:068270) announced today that it has signed an agreement to acquire product assets for the Asia Pacific region from Takeda Pharmaceuticals International AG (“Takeda”) in an effort to strengthen its R&D capabilities in the Global Small Molecule Drug sector.

This signing allows Celltrion to acquire Takeda’s Primary Care businesses in the Asia Pacific region and secure rights for patent, trademark, approval and sales of a total of 18 prescription and over-the-counter brands currently available in 9 markets in the region, namely, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia. These products grossed a combined sale of approximately $140 million USD (approx. KRW 170 billion) in Fiscal Year 2018 in these markets. These products are expected to be distributed by Celltrion Pharm, a Celltrion affiliate company, in Korea and by Celltrion Healthcare in other AP territories leveraging their distribution and marketing capabilities.

Celltrion agreed to acquire these rights for USD 278.3 million. It will acquire the business through its wholly owned subsidiary in Singapore. Subject to approval from relevant local and/or foreign authorities, Celltrion plans to complete the transaction by the end of the fourth quarter this year.

The acquired product portfolio includes global new drug Nesina, Actos (both for diabetes) and Edarbi (hypertension) and also well-known OTC drugs such as Whituben (cold remedy) and Albothyl (stomatitis). Among them, Nesina and Edarbi are protected through product patents until 2026 and 2027, respectively.

Takeda and Celltrion have also entered into a manufacturing and supply agreement under which Takeda will continue to manufacture the portfolio of divested products and supply them to Celltrion. Celltrion plans to receive relevant technology transfer to start local manufacturing at Celltrion Pharma’s cGMP production facilities for some of the key acquired products for sales in local and foreign markets.

Celltrion’s first large-scale M&A deal, this acquisition gives Celltrion a pivotal opportunity to establish a robust presence as a local original drug provider in the Korean market. Demand has been high for treatments for chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia in Korea. Despite this trend, multinational pharmaceuticals have constituted a majority of the local supplies. Celltrion hopes to position itself as a stable supplier of high-quality, made-in-Korea original drugs and contribute to the reinforced financial strength of the national health system.

The deal also provides significant potential for the company’s sustainable growth. Celltrion plans to quickly land these products in the Asia Pacific market, tapping into Takeda’s established brand power for prescription drugs.

Celltrion expects this acquisition to allow the company to mature as a comprehensive global pharmaceutical company, as it adds a powerful small molecule product lineup to its already strong biopharmaceutical pipeline, which includes autoimmune disease and anti-cancer drugs.

The competitive over-the-counter drug brands added through this deal will also help raise Celltrion’s brand awareness among consumers.

Meanwhile, diabetes and hypertension drug markets in the Asia Pacific region were worth KRW 3 trillion and KRW 2.76 trillion1 last year, respectively. The combined market size of these two segments is expected to double to KRW 11 trillion by 2030.

This deal is expected to strengthen Celltrion’s global R&D capability and help spur the development of new drugs and insulin biosimilars. Celltrion will utilize the new drug pipeline to complete its portfolio for diabetes and hypertension treatments. Based on these efforts, Celltrion will continue to tap the U.S. and global procurement markets to provide high-quality and cost-effective pharmaceuticals around the world.

Celltrion CEO Kee Woo Sung said, ”With 17 million diabetes and hypertension patients in Korea alone and more than 60% of the elderly population have three or more chronic diseases, the market for chronic disease drugs is becoming more important. By acquiring the rights for a selection of Takeda’s products in Asia Pacific, Celltrion will be able to localize essential drugs for diabetes and hypertension, for which many local patients had to depend on imported drugs. This transaction will help us contribute to improved public healthcare and more resilient National Health finance in this super-aged society. Celltrion will take a big step to become a comprehensive global biopharmaceutical company.”

About Celltrion, Inc

Headquartered in Incheon, Korea, Celltrion is a leading biopharmaceutical company, specializing in the research, development and manufacture of small molecules, biosimilars and innovative drugs. Celltrion strives to provide more affordable biosimilar mAbs to patients who previously had limited access to advanced therapeutics. Celltrion received FDA and EC’s approval for INFLECTRA® and Remsima®, respectively, the world’s first mAb biosimilar approved from regulatory agencies in developed countries. For more information, visit

1. IQVIA, 2019, Market size of diabetes treatments in 8 APAC countries and hypertension treatments in 6 APAC countries

Contact information

Celltrion, Inc.
Eunyoung Lee, +82 32 850 4384
Tae-Gyun Kim, +82 32 850 5136

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