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Pharmaceutical Deal Could Mean A Norovirus Vaccine

Japanese company buys a pharmaceutical company in Montana.

A Japanese company recently bought a Montana pharmaceutical company. The Bozeman-based LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals was sold to Takeda Pharmaceutical Company for $60 million.

Montana Company Gains Attention

LigoCyte made headlines recently for its work on a vaccine for the norovirus.

“Norovirus is the most common cause of outbreaks of gastroenteritis and foodborne illness in the U.S., and is responsible for 200,000 deaths each year, most of them in developing countries,” said Rajeev Venkayya, executive vice president of Takeda Pharmaceutical’s vaccine business division.

“With the only norovirus vaccine in clinical trials today, Takeda will be in a position to change this picture.”

According to Yahoo! News Takeda plans to get the vaccine approved in the U.S. and Europe.

Future Looks Bright

Both Takeda executives and LigoCyte executives say this deal has the potential to help millions of people as more work is dedicated to vaccines. The acquisition is “a demonstration of Takeda’s dedication to preventing illness in children and adults around the world,” Venkayya said in a statement.

“It’s a great opportunity for us at LigoCyte to be associated with Takeda,” CEO Donald P. Beeman told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Thursday.

“Together, we believe we have the right combination of expertise and dedication to bring our norovirus vaccine to market. We look forward to supporting Takeda’s vaccine research and development efforts and contributing to the long-term success of Takeda’s Vaccine Business Division,” Beeman said in a statement.

According to the CDC, norovirus infects 21 million people in the U.S. each year.

More on Norovirus

According to WebMd, noroviruses are responsible for more than half of all food-borne disease outbreaks each year. Plus, noroviruses are the most common cause of diarrhea in adults and the second most common cause in children.

Symptoms include: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches and fatigue. Dehydration can be a problem with noroviruses since the body expells all its nutrients.

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