The Japanese Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. agreed to buy Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. a biotechnology company, for $8.8 billion on a move to remain competitive in the global market.

Takeda will buy the U.S. company based in Cambridge Mass. for $25 a share which represents 52.9% premium on $16.35, Millennium's closing share price on Wednesday.

The deal was announced after trading closed and it is the largest transaction involving a Japanese company in this year according to the Wall Street Journal.

With this merge the Japanese firm, which specializes in treatments for cardiovascular and diabetes treatments, will benefit from Millennium's cancer drugs. One of Millennium's major drugs is Velcade, a blood cancer drug treatment expected to generate revenue of $345 million in 2008.

Takeda is trying to avoid a loss in revenue as the patents of two of its top selling products, Prevacid (ulcer treatment) and Actos (diabetes treatment) expire in 2009 and 2011 respectively. Takeda is using its cash in acquisitions or licensing agreements now.

In February, Takeda acquired a Japanese unit Amgen Inc. and obtained rights to market several of its cancer drugs in Asia. It also bought Abbott Laboratories and the license to develop and sell a prostate cancer vaccine from Cell Genesys Inc.