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Takeda secures Japanese rights to Exelixis cancer drug

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. nabbed the Japanese rights to Exelixis Inc.'s lead cancer drug Cabozantinib.

The pharma giant made a $50 million upfront payment to commercialize the drug for all potential future indications in Japan, including advanced renal cell carcinoma.

Cabozantinib is already marketed in the U.S. and the EU for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma, a kidney cancer. The drug, which is yet to be approved in Japan, is also being studied as a potential treatment for a certain type of liver cancer.

Exelixis can receive up to an additional $95 million in milestone-related payments as a result of the Takeda agreement as well as royalties on sales.

Exelixis maintains the rights to commercialize the drug in the U.S., while Ipsen can market the treatment in countries besides the U.S. and Japan as part of a previously entered agreement with the company.

The Takeda agreement triggers a $10 million milestone payment from Ipsen to Exelixis.