VLP Tech Means Big Money: Takeda to Acquire LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

This little press release caught my eye this afternoon—as I sit home slogging  through a second bout of gastroenteritis in a few months. Both Derek and a close friend mentioned that a neighboring town closed their schools a few weeks ago due to an outbreak of Norovirus, which may or may not be what’s got hold of me right now. Curious, I did a quick search for news articles about Noroviruses, and this popped up from a few days ago.

With all the Norovirus outbreaks in schools and on cruise ships over the past few years, it isn’t a big surprise that pharmaceutical companies have been racing for a vaccine that would cover a variety of strains. Who knew that such a company operated in Bozeman, Montana? LigoCyte has a patented bit of pharm tech called VLP (Virus-Like-Particle). You can read all about that process here at LigoCyte’s homepage.

If you’re curious, check out the acquisition announcement at the PR Newswire section of the Sacramento Bee. Here’s the lead paragraph:

OSAKA, Japan, DEERFIELD, Ill. and BOZEMAN, Mont., Oct. 4, 2012 — /PRNewswire/ — Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited Takeda and LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals, Inc. jointly announced today that Takedas wholly-owned subsidiary, Takeda America Holdings, Inc. and LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals, Inc. have entered into a definitive agreement for Takeda to acquire LigoCyte for an upfront payment of $60 million, with future contingent consideration based on the progress of development projects. LigoCyte is a privately-held biopharmaceutical company specializing in innovative vaccine products headquartered in Bozeman, Montana. Its lead product, a vaccine to prevent norovirus gastroenteritis, is in phase I/II of clinical development.