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Takeda agrees on $2bn deal with Code Bio to expand its gene therapy programmes

The pharma company will gain opt-in rights for four rare diseases candidates

Takeda

In a deal worth up to $2bn, Takeda has formed a new partnership with Code Biotherapeutics, to gain opt-in rights for four rare diseases candidates.

According to the terms of the deal, Code Bio will be entitled to receive upfront milestones and research funding payments in the range of ‘double-digit million dollars’ from Takeda, while Takeda will make development and commercial milestone payments – apart from tiered royalties – at a future date. These terms mean the potential value of the collaboration – once the milestones for all four programmes have been met – could total up to $2bn.

As part of the collaboration, Takeda will gain access to Code Bio’s 3DNA non-viral genetic medicine delivery platform – which is intended for a liver-directed programme to begin with – and is also interested in using the technology for disorders surrounding the central nervous system.

Code Bio’s 3DNA platform has the ability to address vital issues of several other genetic medicine delivery methods, allowing genetic therapies to reach the potential.

The vectors used in Code Bio’s 3DNA are based on pieces of synthetic DNA linked together, building a reinforced platform which can hold a larger gene sequence than viral vectors. According to the company, these do not trigger an immune response which could have the potential to cause side effects or limit the chance of re-dosing.

Head of Takeda Pharmaceutical Rare Diseases Drug Discovery Unit, Madhu Natarajan, said that the partnership “will hopefully enable us to develop re-dosable and durable gene therapies that will be superior to current approaches”.

At the beginning of the collaboration, the companies will work together on research until the selection of the candidates and, following the subsequent option exercise, Takeda will assume responsibility for overseeing the development and marketing of the programmes.

Natarajan added: “We aim to provide functional cures to patients with rare genetic and haematologic diseases through next-generation gene therapy programmes.

“Code Bio’s 3DNA platform will allow us to build upon the foundation we have established through our internal capabilities and external partnerships and will hopefully enable us to develop re-dosable and durable gene therapies that will be superior to current approaches.”

Takeda has furthered its pipeline-building over the last two years, having signed off numerous deals, with gene and therapies and rare diseases being at the top of the list.

In October 2021, Takeda signed a $3.6bn deal with Poseida Therapeutics on gene therapies for six to eight programmes. These included liver and haematologic diseases, while another deal with Selecta Biosciences targeted lysosomal storage disorders and was valued at around $1.1bn.

Article by
Fleur Jeffries

24th February 2022

From: Research

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