Takeda building

Takeda acquire Maverick in $525m deal to expand cancer therapy portfolio

pharmafile | March 10, 2021 | News story | Research and Development Maverick, Takeda, cancer treatment 

Takeda has acquired Maverick Therapeutics in a deal worth up to $525 million, in order to expand its portfolio of novel immuno-oncology treatments, and advance its existing T-cell therapies.

The purchase, which follows a multi-year collaboration between the two companies signed in 2017 to develop T-cell engager treatments, involves an upfront payment negotiated in the original deal, as well as further instalments for development and regulatory milestones.

Under the agreement, Takeda will obtain Maverick’s T-cell engager COBRA platform and a broad development portfolio, including Maverick’s lead development candidate TAK-186, currently in a Phase I/II study, and TAK-280, which is anticipated to enter the clinic in the second half of this year, both for the treatment of patients with solid tumours.

Maverick’s COBRA platform is designed to target a broad range of solid tumours. Unlike standard T-cell engaging immunotherapies, COBRA therapies are engineered to exploit the tumour microenvironment, triggering T-cell-mediated killing only at the site of the tumour, while sparing damage to patients’ healthy tissues.

Chris Arendt PhD, Head of the Oncology Therapeutic Area Unit of Takeda, said: “Collaboration is paramount to our R&D strategy and our pursuit of novel approaches to treat cancer. By supporting pioneers like Maverick working in emerging areas of science, we can share expertise, resources and risk to bring transformational new therapies to patients faster. 

“Maverick’s cutting-edge COBRA platform is an exciting addition to our oncology portfolio that provides a novel conditional bioengineering approach to advance redirected immunotherapies against solid tumours.”

James Scibetta, CEO of Maverick, added: “Through the acquisition, patients will benefit from the expansion of resources and experience Takeda brings to accelerate development of our COBRA-derived therapies. 

“Takeda has been an excellent partner since Maverick’s inception, venerating our independence through a period marked by rapid innovation, providing actionable consultation, and providing direct cell line development and manufacturing support through the COVID-19 pandemic to keep us on our aggressive schedule.”

Jack Goddard

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