Japanese drug company Kyowa Hakko Kirin is to acquire the Scottish biotech ProStrakan for £292 million, or 130p per share for the company. The move comes after a number of other approaches – including one from Dutch drug company Norgine, which part-owns ProStraken.

“The fit between ProStrakan and KHK is unmistakeable in terms of products, geography and infrastructure,” said Peter Allen, chairman of ProStrakan,“We are enthused by KHK’s plans for the business and, in particular, with its intentions regarding ProStrakan’s infrastructure in Europe and the U.S.”

KHK president Yuzuru Matsuda commented, “The combination of KHK and ProStrakan represents a highly attractive and strategically complementary fit. This transaction provides KHK with ProStrakan’s established sales and marketing platform in the US and Europe, strengthening our global business and future growth prospects.”

In 2009 KHK signed an early-stage research deal with Sanofi-Aventis for its anti-LIGHT fully human monoclonal antibody, which could be a first-in-class treatment for ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

ProStrakan had sales of £100m last year, 80% of which came from European Union operations. Around £17m of ProStraken’s sales last year came from pain relief brand Abstral, which is marketed in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Sweden. The FDA has also approved the drug – which is indicated for the management of breakthrough pain in cancer patients, and ProStrakan expects to launch it in the US soon.

US authorities have also given the green light to ProStraken’s Fortesta – again, after delays – a testosterone transdermal gel used for testosterone replacement therapy in male hypogonadism. Endo Pharmaceuticals, with whom ProStrakan has partnered on this product in the US, plans to launch it in the near future.

It has not been plain sailing recently for the Scottish company: last year, the manufacture of one of its key drugs – Sancuso, a patch to prevent nausea during chemotherapy – was suspended in the US for some weeks after quality assurance issues.