Tokyo — Takeda Pharmaceutical is joining the drug industry’s giants with Japan’s largest-ever overseas takeover — a $62bn deal for much larger rival Shire. CEO Christophe Weber capped a drawn-out pursuit of the UK-listed company with an acquisition he described as transformational that will give Takeda wider reach into the world’s biggest drug market and strengthen its global pipeline for lucrative drugs that treat rare diseases. "The two combined create a rich pipeline in all stages — early and late stage, which is very important," Weber said on a call after the deal was announced on Tuesday. "We are in a good momentum and in a strong position." Takeda’s largest acquisition would catapult the company into the top 10 within the global pharmaceutical industry. Weber, a Frenchman who is the first foreigner to lead the 237-year-old Japanese firm, is seeking growth in new markets amid patent expirations and drug pricing pressures at home. After fielding multiple bids for Shire, it was t...

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