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Takeda reveals collaboration aimed at bolstering oncology pipeline

Published on 08/08/17 at 10:42am

It is widely known that Takeda is keen to build its portfolio in oncology and it has made another move to prepare for this after signing a licensing collaboration with Molecular Templates.

The research and licensing collaboration sees Takeda gain access to potential therapeutic targets developed through the application of Molecular Templates’ engineered toxin bodies technology platform.

As the therapies are designed upon Shiga toxins, the hope is that the therapies will be able to aid in treatment of specific cancers. Bacterial Shiga toxins have been used as targeted treatment for gastric cancer, as this tumour expresses the receptor of the Shiga toxin.

The deal signed sees Takeda put down an equity investment, with Molecular Templates further eligible to receive upfront payments, development and commercial milestone payments. In return, Takeda has the rights to exclusive options to obtain licensing rights of products that arise from the collaboration. Takeda will also appoint a director to Molecular Templates’ board of directors.

“Over the past year, Takeda has expanded its collaborations in the Oncology space with the aim of accessing highly-innovative platforms to target specific tumour antigens using novel payloads and modality approaches,” said Christopher Arendt, Head, Oncology DDU & Immunology Unit, Takeda. “In fact, we had already been working with the Molecular Templates team on a program that we have the option to in-license. The announcement of today’s collaboration with Molecular Templates allows us to extend this partnership and leverage their potentially ground-breaking approach to address additional tumours types, including solid tumours. The Molecular Templates team is outstanding, and we look forward to expanding our partnership.”

This collaboration deal builds on a day sealed the day previous with Cardurion, another biotech that is developing therapies for the treatment of heart failure and other cardiovascular diseases.

Prior to this, Takeda made a $5.2 billion deal to acquire Ariad Pharmaceuticals, a company focused on developing cancer therapies. This acquisition arose after the company had previously looked at taking over Salix, from Valeant, only for the transaction to fall through on differing valuations. 

Ben Hargreaves

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