Takeda in talks to buy rival Nycomed

Japan's largest drug maker Takeda Pharmaceutical is in talks to buy its privately held Swiss rival Nycomed for more than $12bn (£7bn) in an attempt to extend its global reach into Europe and emerging markets.

The purchase would offer the mainly Asia and US-focused maker of drugs for diabetes and heart disease access to a lung disease drug, Daxas, just approved in the United States, and a portfolio of over-the-counter consumer products.

A Nycomed deal would be Japan's second-biggest overseas takeover according to Thomson Reuters data – after Japan Tobacco's $19bn buy of Britain's Gallagher – and would be a second major deal for Takeda after it bought the US cancer drug specialist Millennium Pharmaceuticals in 2008 for about $9bn.