The small US biotech will boost Takeda’s drug discovery efforts

Japanese drug maker Takeda has struck a $140 million (£88 million) deal to buy privately owned US drug discovery company Envoy.

The move gives Takeda access to Envoy’s ‘BacTrap’ technology for labeling and extracting the protein-making components of specific types of cells. The technique is particularly useful in the brain, so its acquisition will strengthen Takeda’s potential in the central nervous system drugs market.

Takeda plans to continue operating Envoy in Jupiter, Florida, until March 2013 and then transfer the majority of the Envoy scientific staff and management team to Takeda in San Diego, California.

Envoy was established in 2009 and now employs 21 people. Takeda invested in the company in October 2009 through its corporate investment wing, Takeda Ventures.