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Takeda Pharmaceuticals said Tuesday it will spend $4 billion and offer another $2 billion in milestones for an experimental anti-inflammatory pill from Nimbus Therapeutics, the largest deal yet for a new target that has already yielded one approved drug and sparked multiple startups.

Takeda will acquire a molecule that blocks TYK2, a signaling protein that affects how cells respond to common inflammatory molecules in the blood. Over the last few years, drugmakers have honed in on it as a new way to tamp down the inflammation that contributes to various autoimmune diseases.

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