Drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. recently reached a deal to buy Philadelphia-based URL Pharma Inc., a maker of gout treatment medication, for $800 million. The deal is expected to close within the next two months.
Takeda is the Japanese drugmaker behind the dangerous diabetes medication Actos, which loses its patent protection later this year. A Takeda spokeswoman said that the drugmaker hopes the purchase of URL Pharma will help provide long-term revenue for its U.S. business, which is embattled with thousands personal injury lawsuits brought by customers who have bladder cancer caused by Actos.
Actos is a blockbuster prescription diabetes medication made by Takeda. The medication has been shown to help control blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, the active ingredient in Actos is pioglitazone, which has been shown to increase the rate of bladder cancer in users.
Like other cancers, Actos bladder cancer can spread throughout the body. There are four stages of bladder cancer and many Actos users are not diagnosed with the disease until it has reached stage IV and spread to organs outside of the bladder.
Actos users who have developed cancer should contact an experienced Actos litigation firm to learn about their legal rights and options.
Source: The Associated Press, "Takeda to buy URL Pharma for $800M upfront," April 11, 2012