Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma to Invest 3 B. Dollars in European Startup


Tokyo, Sept. 6 (Jiji Press)--Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co. <4506> said Friday it has struck a 3-billion-dollar investment deal with Roivant Sciences Ltd., a European drug startup.

The basic agreement, aimed at capitalizing on Roivant's drug development capabilities and acquiring promising candidate drugs, has swept away concerns over a decline in Sumitomo Dainippon's earnings after its patent for the Latuda antipsychotic, whose sales account for 40 pct of its total, expires in the United States in February 2023, Hiroshi Nomura, president of the Osaka-based firm, said at a press conference at the firm's Tokyo head office.

Under the deal, Sumitomo Dainippon will acquire a 10 pct stake in Roivant, headquartered in London and Basel of the Switzerland, and shares in its five drug development units.

The acquisition procedures are expected to be completed next spring.

Initially, Sumitomo Dainippon intended to offset the envisaged earnings drop by developing a potentially blockbuster drug on its own. But after clinical trials of the medicine failed, it shifted to obtain candidate drugs from an industry peer.

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