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Europe approves Takeda drug for ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease

TOKYO (Reuters) - The European Commission has approved the sale of Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd's Entyvio drug to treat patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, Japan's biggest drugmaker said on Wednesday.

Entyvio, the trade name for vedolizumab, is one of several major drugs in Takeda's pipeline, and Chief Financial Officer Francois-Xavier Roger has said it has the potential to be a blockbuster as it enters the global market.

Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are the two most common types of inflammatory bowel disease, affecting more than 4 million people worldwide, including 2.2 million in Europe, Takeda said in a statement.

The drug has been cleared for sale in the European Union, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, Takeda said, after a similar approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week.

Shares in Takeda were up 0.6 percent on Wednesday morning, slightly outperforming the broader Tokyo market's 0.3 percent gain.

(Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Stephen Coates)