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Business deals

Takeda sells 18 drugs to South Korea's Celltrion in $278m deal

Products are sold in Australia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand

The sale is part of Takeda's push to reduce debt from last year's purchase of Irish drugmaker Shire. (Photo by Shihoko Nakaoka)

TOKYO -- Top Japanese drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical will sell some Asian prescription and over-the-counter products to South Korean biotechnology company Celltrion for up to $278 million, in the latest move to focus its business portfolio and cut debt.

The transaction, expected to conclude this year, covers 18 products sold mainly in Australia, Hong Kong, Macao, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand, Takeda said Thursday.

The announcement follows other moves by Takeda to reduce debt from last year's purchase of Irish drugmaker Shire.

The portfolio in the deal announced Thursday includes drugs to treat high blood pressure and diabetes. Net sales of all the products totaled about $140 million in fiscal 2018, according to Takeda.

After the sale, the Japanese drugmaker will provide the products to Celltrion under a supply transaction.

Takeda, led by French national CEO Christophe Weber, has set a goal of roughly $10 billion in asset sales.

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