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Takeda strikes partnership to develop single-drug cancer combo immunotherapies

Published on 14/08/17 at 12:03pm

Japanese pharma giant Takeda has announced that it is to partner up with US-based Shattuck Labs in a collaboration to develop checkpoint fusion proteins which can be refined and utilised as highly differentiated, advanced immunotherapies for cancer. As part of the deal, Takeda will have the rights to the global development and commercialisation of up to four such molecules.

Shattuck’s Agonist Redirected Checkpoint (ARC) platform will be used to create fusion proteins by combining two binding domains, with the resulting product able to potentially restore and improve immune system function. ARC molecules work by blocking checkpoint molecules while simultaneously stimulating TNF superfamily co-stimulatory receptors on T-cells and innate cells, creating a functional combination immunotherapy in a single drug.

“Shattuck Labs has pioneered the unique ARC platform, and we are excited about the opportunity this collaboration presents to develop ground-breaking, next-generation immuno-oncology treatments,” explained Takeda Pharmaceutical Oncology Drug Development Unit and Immunology Unit head Dr Christopher Arendt. “Research partnerships are a key aspect of our continued dedication to oncology innovation, and this collaboration will bring us closer to our goal of discovering, developing and delivering breakthrough oncology therapies.”

Takeda will fund the pre-clinical and clinical development in the joint project.

Shattuck Labs chairman and CEO Josiah Hornblower said: “Takeda shares our passion and mission to develop and advance novel therapies in oncology, with the goal of achieving better clinical outcomes in patients.”

Matt Fellows

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